✠ AIRBNBEWARE ✠
A TRUE HORROR STORY
Below is a sample of the data that was rearranged on Airbnb's messaging system both Before tampering and After.
This is my last response to Airbnb:
Tina, Vera, Keisha, Willis, Beckett, and most of all Brian:
I’m done dealing with your company directly, for the time being.
I WANT IT TO BE DONE PUBLICLY :
PROHIBITING YOU FROM MANIPULATING THE CONVERSATION. THERE'S A COMMENT SECTION BELOW.
I DON’T FEEL COMFORTABLE ON YOUR PLATFORM : DUE TO YOUR MANIPULATION OF THE TRUTH + BLATANT DISREGARD CONCERNING TRAVELER SAFETY.
I exposed a threat your company posed to our safety as travelers !
Your company’s response was to admit twice on recording - that I had experienced malicious intent and/or flagrant fraud. You then commanded ravenously - that I should stop talking about the abuse I experienced and turn the other cheek, both emotionally and financially.
I lived through deep rooted and acute abuse on your so called ‘hospitality’ program.
No one from your company cared or attempted to stop the madness.
You shared no and showed no regard for my safety, nor the safety of the populace you entice with your ‘goodwill’ claims. Our most cherished possessions - not to mention our lives as we sleep - are at the mercy of your warped mindset which myopically protects only preservation of profit.
Airbnb , you said I had a place ‘to call home’ at a blessing of a rate - during the most financially devastating time of my life. Jo Katbi, (or TJ, Jaime, or Excite Magazine, or LukSuk … the New Orleans native who happens to actually be native of India) - conned me. I exposed the con and Airbnb protected him as an asset. The host took advantage of my belief in human kindness . . . which is precisely what Airbnb prides itself on as social currency in order to exist.
Finding out Excite Magazine = Vincent Breeding = A True Horror Story
The abuse I endured from you and your protection of the host - was similar to being woken up by kidnappers while sleeping.
GOOD WILL IS NOT A SAFE ENOUGH BET - A HUMAN’S LIFE SHOULD NOT BE HOSTED UPON A GAMBLE.
Thanks to you Airbnb, my company is now homeless during the most profitable season of the year.
Airbnb you have a fucked up protocol for dealing with a host who extorts guests for money. I had a confirmed reservation and my host messaged me instantly outside of your platform from sexually implicit email handles- (funding fucked up causes)- breaking your most obvious safety policy. Your only response to protect us was to send the host politely robotic reprimands with links to your policies via email - THAT’S IT ! Together you continue to rake in the profits.
The despicable and still active host on your platform - continuously attempted to extort more money from me - after a confirmed reservation over 6 days time I’d say a total of 8 times. You just let the days pass by as I frantically asked you for assistance through every means possible.
The host became indignant with my explanation of his obvious crime, and proceeded to employ a bigoted and offensive personal attack on my mental / physical handicaps - in a literary tone of what I can only dub “Stranded Nigerian Astronaut”.
Your flagrant misconduct regarding the safety of travelers, demands that all hosts of any kind in America who operate outside of the preexisting legally/professionally regulated hospitality structure need to be accredited by a third party!
THE FOX CANNOT POLICE THE HEN HOUSE!
This certification cannot be administered by the out-of-line dictatorship your platform has amassed to.
How many of our loved ones are sleeping on pillows tonight belonging to proprietors posing as ‘caretakers’ ; registering their information with no one outside of your Vacation Cartel . . . a Cartel which has proven Pure Profit as it’s only regulatory advisor?
TIMELINE OF COMMUNICATION
WITH HOST VIA AIRBNB AND HOST VIA PERSONAL EMAIL
FEB 12 2016 - 2 1/2 months before a pivotal business trip + family reunion on April 27 - May 4th - we logon late night to Airbnb after a 16 hour work day.
FEB 12 2016 11:12 Jo Katbi sent a pre-approval for $1626.
FEB 12 2016 11:13 Jo Katbi contacted us via Airbnb messaging to see if he could give us a special rate because the $1626 pre-approved rate had already been sent one minute prior to this message and was not within my bare bones budget.
FEB 12 2016 11:14 Jo Katbi one minute later sends the savior-of-our-life price of $335 for the time we need to work.
FEB 12 2016 11:17 Jo Katbi solicited me for my personal email saying “Can you send me An email? My address is Excite Magazine. I do not give him my information because I have no confirmed appointment with him - no rapport - no need to comply with a host’s solicitation against Airbnb rules.
FEB 12 2016 11:37 I spent 20 full minutes deliberating with my partner about how to proceed with a host, who was soliciting us for our email before we even booked a reservation. We decided it’s completely normal to follow the orders of a veteran host and also most people wish to see our art portfolios outside of Airbnb no matter where we stay anyway! I proceeded cautiously with “Sure I can send an email - yours is getting hidden by Airbnb k***** is mine at me dot com. I then explained in the same minute that He would be saving our lives!!! via the Airbnb messaging service.
FEB 12 2016 11:42 Six minutes later I still couldn’t believe how amazing this host was for saving our small business with an affordable safe place to stay . . . so I repeated my gratitude and stated “You have no idea of what a life save you are!”
AND CONFIRMED THE RESERVATION.
The host and I were both notified via email twice of this reservation confirmation. And it was also time stamped on the Airbnb messaging system.
FEB 12 2016 11:59 Jo Katbi goes at it again : “You can also message me luksuk at iCloud dot con. via the Airbnb platform. 17 minutes passed by and Jo is starting to solicit me for my email again. I had hoped the nightmare I supposed was happening had vanished and I was sure that no matter what happened from here on out - that Airbnb would protect me.
FEB 13 2016 12:01 I receive an email from TJ Awesome at email@example.com, Subject line : New Orleans Content : Hey Katy, Is this your email? Thanks!! Sent from my iPhone
FEB 13 2016 12:01 I send an email Subject : Hey it’s katy! Content : :)
I go to sleep sending only a :) because I know it's not appropriate to talk outside of Airbnb and I think it's odd that Jo hasn't asked to see either one of our portfolios yet.
FEB 13 2016 12:14 I receive an email from TJ Awesome at firstname.lastname@example.org, Content : Oh hey! So I can knock the rate down to $1200 but Airbnb will still charge you their fee. Is that better for you? Thanks:) Sent from my iPhone. I refuse to reply to him and immediately freak out.
FEB 13 2016 12:40 I received an email from TJ Awesome at email@example.com, Content :Hey I've gotta run but I'll check my messages when I'm back! I'm in India at the moment!!!
FEB 13 2016 4:04 AM I FINALLY receive a message from Jo Katbi via Airbnb messaging service : Hey the reservation isn’t $290. I said I could $1200. I hope this is ok. Please message me when you can :) thanks!!
Sometime between 4:04 AM and 11:15 AM FEB 13 2016 J Katbi deleted the listing from Airbnb.
FEB 13 2016 11:15 AM I send for an emergency email to Airbnb to call this extortion and solicitation out! I wrote :
This host has put up a serious red flag for me. I have NEVER had this issue with a host before. I always use your site to reach out for personal deals from hosts - it's the most amazing thing ever that you allow hosts to control their own property rates like this. I was sure that we had found a blessing like we always do when Jo reached out with his amazing deal. However he then immediately began to message me some awkward messages via email about how the reservation that is / was already confirmed - won't be the price that he agreed to and asked for and I confirmed. It seems as if he attempted to get me to pay money off of your site - he asked for an additional 1200$. I've never had anyone ask for money outside of Airbnb before AFTER A CONFIRMED APPOINTMENT! Now the listing isn't even available. I'm super super super screwed. I cannot afford to stay in New Orleans without this deal. We are in debt right now as artists and we cannot explain how much this deal meant to us. If we are scammed we are screwed. We will have nowhere to stay that we can afford in order to sell our art at peak season. Please please please help us!
FEB 13 2016 11:25 AM Airbnb Zendesk “Expert” Antonella responded with:
Hi Katy! really sorry about this issue: as a responsible host myself, I really hate these things as this is not what AirBnB recommends hosts to do!
Therefore, please first of all tell your host that he cannot ask for additional money after a reservation is confirmed! If he insists in doing that, you can flag him (there is a little flag next to the messages) and AirBnB will contact him and take due action!
Also, tell him that if he is not happy with this reservation, HE needs to cancel it (doNOT cancel yourself to avoid being charged cancellation fees!). Should he cancel, you'll be fully assisted by AirBnB to find a new similar place to stay. Don't worry, the Guest refund policy fully protects you, as stated here:
Please soon message the host and see if he agrees to host you at the given price or what. keep me posted so that I can guide you through
FEB 13 2016 11:36 AM I am fearful now - so I call Airbnb's emergency hotline number and spoke with Tina who tells me everything is going to be alright. She can tell this is a big time con. She said I have evidence of his criminal behavior all in the documentation of his emailing and messaging content, timeline, and frequency. She also states that his removal of his listing following the solicitation for my private email and for extortion for excessive additional funds offsite and onsite is amazing evidence and would command his removal as host. I was told that he would be removed from the site and that Airbnb would compensate me for enduring this stressful scam by putting me in a similar space in a similar location for the reserved price - or cover the cost of the difference in pricing.
After this initial contact with Tina - I tried to contact Airbnb for 6 days - not one customer representative ever followed up with me concerning what Tina had promised. Every day for a total of 6 days I was bounced around a call center which told me they’d have to get back to me later whenever I called Airbnb. Every day for a total of 6 days I messaged Airbnb via email only to receive mixed messages from a curt, cold, and manipulative customer service agent named Vera : concerning my restitution and safety. She said Jo Katbi had made a mistake and that it was the Airbnb app’s fault on his phone. I said the timeline and his removal of the listing proves otherwise. And what happened to compensating me? Where is the hospitality?She said she’d get back to me - and of course she never did.
FEB 16 10:16 AM I finally message Jo Katbi directly because I wanted some answers as to why he never reached out to me to explain the mistake. Why did he extort me and then delete the listing when I would not speak with him while I tried to go through Airbnb to mediate the situation. I wrote this :
Jo i'm so confused. You asked me for $1200 extra 20 minutes after the reservation was confirmed via email - after I had already said you were saving my life twice via airbnb messaging by giving me the rate that you did. The price was displayed in our airbnb message feed as: JO SENT A SPECIAL OFFER $43/NIGHT. We both saw that as a confirmation. Why didn't you admit it was a mistake until way later? I don't understand. You asked me for money instantly via email. And then you said it was a mistake price? The price was confirmed and you never said to me that it was a mistake. You just asked for more money. " Oh hey! So I can knock the rate down to $1200 but Airbnb will still charge you their fee. Is that better for you?" I don't know why you wouldn't mention the BIGGEST issue once, where is the part where you admit to me instantly that this was a mistake on your part? Why did you ignore that and wait hours to tell this only to airbnb. I never heard from you on airbnb about this mistake until 4 hours after you had already asked me for more money outside of airbnb. What's going on? The original price you reserved me at wasn't a mistake until much much later and you never explained to me that it was a mistake you just said you wanted $1200 extra than the confirmed rate. Please explain I'm worried, I've never had this issue before ever. I always always receive discounts from people and I feel taken advantage of!
Jo refused to respond to my desire for explanation and continued to ask for more money. Airbnb would not assist me and I forwarded the message I had sent to Airbnb to Jo Katbi himself.
FEB 16 2016 9:35PM
I have anxiety disorder and PTSD.
That's why I love airbnb.
I use it because I literally feel healthier staying in the comfort of someone's private home :
than I do a corporate tower of transients and service workers.
I have always used this lifesaving program :
to assure that my service animals and I have a safe place to work from when traveling.
I only travel for work - so the level of seriousness with which I take this program is upped in my mind, to an unquantifiable position.
I could not do what I love and support myself - without the existence of airbnb.
Times are super tough financially.
We sold out two nights at Art ***** this past December :
but my gallerist would not let us hang as much as we needed/wanted to.
After the event we figured out what his awkward treatment was regarding.
Bigotry runs deeper than profits, community, and the American Dream.
I was cut out of the club for being trans, cuban, and jewish in ancestry .
It is impossible to stand up for oneself as a paycheck to paycheck artist
in court against a man with so much $$$$ - we had to move on.
We used airbnb to do just that with you Jo -
at 11:13 pm you knew the rate that you gave me was correct. It showed up in our messaging system as : JO SENT A SPECIAL OFFER $43/NIGHT for both of us to view. This is visible in the app. You instantly / immediately messaged me to contact you via email. You commanded as a host that I give you my email. I felt that this was abnormal but I followed your orders as you are my host. You never said you made a mistake. You said you needed more money. You didn't say you made a mistake until you "requested to change the reservation". Almost 24 hours after you asked me for extra money - then you asked me to accept or decline reservations the proper way. You have 53 reviews, on Feb 13, 2016, at 8:04 PM you knew that you were doing the "right" thing. But that's only after you did the super duper wrong thing multiple times for almost 24 hours.
After giving me the rate you provided that was super fair due to the fact that you knew I was emotionally and financially broken... I have to know nothing about possibilities. I cannot believe that you wrote me this message, "You have to know that there is no possible way of doing $43 a night especially during the busiest time of year. I messaged you immediately when I saw the mistake." Those are both lies and I feel threatened.
I have to know nothing of what you assume! Your kindness and your humanity are what I'm counting on using airbnb. The deal you gave me I quoted as life saving twice. I know that on the app you could see the same thing I could which was an instant confirmation of the rate : JO SENT A SPECIAL OFFER $43/NIGHT. You waited almost 24 hours to follow the rules, and before that and up until now you have put me through serious mental trauma.
Just last month my man and I used airbnb program to ensure a safe space to stay in New Orleans when we had to immediately disassemble our point of sale on ****** Street : after being buried alive career wise, by this anti-Semitic, homophobic, evil *************!
Click on the photo below if you're not squeamish. If you're driving, Pull the Fuck Over.
We had to drop what we were doing and drive to New Orleans from Miami !
Our cyber data had been pirated and years of work erased! We had to get to Nola before he could destroy all of our physical products and artwork in the point of sale- at the Gallery we've worked with for over 7 years.
Airbnb saved our lives, our merchandise, and our entire Fine Art portfolio!
With a safe place to park, a dreamy place to sleep, and a comfortably private space to work from :
our superman host John was amazing and will be a lasting friend!
My partner and I cannot brag about airbnb service (when functioning) enough!
We only use the platform for special deals.
Airbnb service has always given me sanctuary
and has supported me like no one else in terms of allowing my small business to go where the money is.
I will be unable to survive this year without being able to have a safe space at a blessing of a rate
(like this one you chose to abuse me and the airbnb system with) in order to work from for the duration
of this week in New Orleans in this location.
We are setting up a new point sale on Royal Street !
We felt blessed to be able to have been accepted by you at the rate you offered.
As soon as we received confirmation you then proceeded to extort me immediately following :
by asking for money instantly outside of the policy and airbnb website via email and
I was crushed.
Seventeen minutes after knowingly offering me a rate I had requested specifically (a ridiculously affordable rate) and confirming and reserving it : you messaged me to contact you via email immediately on airbnb. I always receive requests to view our artist's portfolio's so this is not unusual however it was awkward for you to so rapidly reach out and not preface interest in viewing our portfolios or merchandise catalogues.
I knew that I had been taken advantage of and abused : within 1/2 an hour of confirmation of reservation I was extorted via email for $$$$ outside of Airbnb.
I freak out at the idea of a late night scammer. I take my prescribed anti-anxiety cocktail (what is used to treat soldiers after war in order that they may return to society with the normalcy after experiencing so much PTSD) and wait for morning. I've been doing this for five days. Wondering if my bills will or won't be paid - because of a scam you pulled using the airbnb service.
We will be setting up a completely new point of sale inside a new gallery in the French Quarter on Royal Street and also selling art outside of the fairgrounds for crowds, hours and hours on the concrete. I also would be in town at the same time as my workaholic Nurse Mother and Doctor Father, who will be attending a medical conference in downtown New Orleans. This trip means the world to me and you have no idea how absolutely devastated I am that I have to be in limbo about something that was marked “Reserved and Confirmed" five days ago!
You were kind enough to allow the starving artist to ask you - the host, for a ridiculous deal we needed in order to stay afloat.I've even done trade for the discrepancy in pricing. I'm a professional photographer and I've taken photographs of newborn infants and their mothers as service barter - in exchange for a discount on the weekly / monthly rates. The networking airbnb program provides is influential in the potential for small American owned and operated business. I could not live without airbnb program : until this incident.
Checking back on my history of airbnb it will be apparent that I have used this option to beg for the best deal possible with each stay. I only need to travel when the money is low in Miami. Miami is where my elderly family is - so I choose to dedicate a lot of my time to taking care of the elderly people in my family and living here. Without airbnb I would not have a way to leave last minute - and find a “place to call home" when I need to follow the money.
It makes no sense whatsoever to me that I receive this message every time I make a special deal : "Reservation confirmed. You've got a place to call home": which has always put my mind at ease - yet now this message has turned into a meaningless nightmare.
I'm not sure why I have to spend 5 days now - in added suspense and physical and emotional apprehension due to a 100% clear abuse of airbnb system by you Jo Katbi. Airbnb records every phone conversation. 02.13.2016 sometime around 8:36am a service representative Tina had already confirmed that this is evidence I've supplied and the experience I've endured this occasion is pure abuse of airbnb system by you - and I would be fully repaired, protected, and assisted by them in finding a similar place to stay for the confirmed rate and times that I will be 100% needing to work in New Orleans.
I cannot believe that the company would trust any traveler in a blatant scammers home. Your home - however nice it looked - and however much profit it made you and the airbnb company - can not be relevant to the unquantifiable amount of stress you have caused me and my business to endure. I feel endangered - by your vengeance of me having caught you abusing the airbnb system!
At 11:25 pm 02.13.2016 I received a message from airbnb online support system which clearly stated 'he cannot ask for additional money after a reservation is confirmed' but the airbnb program allowed you to do so twice this evening!! In a row !! and Once nearly 24 hours after extorting me once via email and once via airbnb message - and both of your responses today : seem to condone your request for more money as normal on this platform's part. You are disregarding the fact that you acted illegally and against airbnb policy prior and never proceeded to even once mention the word mistake until almost 24 hours later via the correct way to confirm mistakes which you only did to cover your tracks.
You then deleted the listing ! Tina is also on record saying this is further evidence of fraud. I was told not to respond to your request for money the ‘appropriate' way which wasn't even appropriate as described by antonella the expert backed by experts ! it's unfathomable for a host to extort on or off the program!
Your response is filled with ideas which are not truthful and it causes me great concern. On Friday 12th of Feb 2016 I wanted to feel rest assured - as I would and should every time I use airbnb service. It's Tuesday and I'm freaking out that this isn't resolved yet! I feel very uneasy and dissatisfied and abandoned by the service.
I was told airbnb would fully protect and assist me in finding a similar place to stay for the confirmed rate and times and location that I will be 100% needing to work in New Orleans.
You did not make a mistake on the initial price.
As a host you intentionally breached your contract with me and the service and I refuse to pay the price of your transgressions.
You said there was a special offer and intentionally asked for more money and my email after I accepted the offer.
Unfortunately I have Exhibit A-F which provide 100% proof evidence of your abuse of the system and an employee of airbnb who agrees with me.
I understand that you and airbnb needed patience on my end -
but I am horrified by the lack of professional response you as a host and them as a $25.5 Billion dollar company have abused me with. I always trusted for them to immediately rectify the situation by putting my mind at ease as the customer who has to endure a scandal at no fault of my own - but due to your abuse of their system.
I cannot understand how waiting for your illegal activity to be exposed beyond my experience of it matters in moving things forward and finding me a safe and synonymous space for me to stay during my work trip at the confirmed rate I have already paid for with a host I can trust! I do not accept your offer to extort me.
I have already called in and spoken with a different representative other than Tina, and also with Vera and explained to these particular representatives that you are now attempting to cover your tracks and act as if you were not aware of the nearly 24 hours that went by before you did the right thing, and that you were not aware that you had exhorted me for money with a screen name which I can only imagine is a sexual solicitation : lu(c)k su(c)k. I am unaware of the policy of having me live through your scam and your covering of your tracks for five days.
You clearly understand how to use the system they've provided to your advantage and to make my life a living hell.
I found no relevant resolution in your response. I'm hoping I've got you up to speed on the panic and the abuse I'm handling here due to your obvious and callous criminal behavior.
Can you please leave me alone I am very uncomfortable with the treatment I am receiving from you. Your lack of responsibility and your flagrant dismissal of the atrocities I have been through in dealing with you.
[Airbnb] I expect to be receiving the compensation and proper treatment due to me five days ago by the end of Wednesday's business day, as I have been waiting since 11:54 on Friday to feel good.
✠ Jo Katbi then lashes out with “inexcusable” verbal abuse. He attacked both my physical and emotional handicaps ✠
FEB 16 2016 10:37 PM
You're not the only one with problems. I have bipolar disorder and PTSD. I did nothing to scam you and never solicited you for money outside Airbnb. I told you the app wasn't working right and that I am in India with crappy Internet. Check your messages and re-read them. Why would I say I could do $1200 but I wasn't sure what Airbnb's fee would be? I do not appreciate you trying to be manipulative here and play a victim. Airbnb nor I owe you anything. There was a mistake out of anybody's control with the app not working right. So please let it go and find somewhere else to stay. And just so you know LukSuk is my service dog that goes everywhere with me because I have epilepsy. (EMAIL HIDDEN) was the only way I could message you as I try to get back to people as soon as I can even while I'm traveling India after the sudden death of my father. So we can compare stories of who has it worst or we can let this misunderstanding go.
Best of luck to you,
I do not appreciate being called a criminal or being slandered against. I think you are not mentally well and hope you can recieve help. Good luck to you.
END OF TIMELINE
Thanks for the tip Jo.
I am currently receiving medical treatment for “not being well” I explained that to you in the first sentence of my message to both you and Airbnb. I am heavily medicated for acute PTSD and anxiety disorder from enduring ****************************. In addition I have neurocardio-syncopy and I had to spend months in the hospital to find out what was giving me seizures like episodes. I had what seemed to be hundreds of probes superglued to my head and had to carry around an EEG fanny pack for a week. I even had an seizure like episode while driving and flipped my car completely over - totaling it.
My physical handicap is real and is painful and has caused me and my family a lot of emotional trauma. Jo Katbi used the sensitive information I provided, to mock and belittle my physical handicap. I was exploited by Airbnb's claims of Good Will.
Jo says to me : “ And just so you know LukSuk is my service dog that goes everywhere with me because I have epilepsy. “
JO This is how i imagine luck suck services you.
I was appalled and crushed at the insensitivity and bigotry I experienced on Airbnb.
I was certain with his verbal abuse laid out next to the chronology of his crime that he would now be removed from the site as a con and an abusive host. When I called in for the last time - to my horror - I was told not to talk about Jo Katbi, and the punishment he would be receiving would not be removal from the site. Airbnb would also not assist me in finding a new place to stay and also not honor the previous promises to fund the resolution to this abuse.
Keisha, the last representative I spoke with explained to me on recording, same as Tina, that the intent of Jo Katbi was in fact malicious extortion for funds outside of the site.
however they would not be prosecuting him for his criminal behavior regarding the con or even his hatred and mockery of my documented handicaps. there was no other option.
i immediately asked to speak with a supervisor.
The manager Willis ultimately hung up on me because he said he didn’t have time to talk to me on the phone "all day" about my cancelLed reservation and my desire to protect the public.
WILLIS : WHAT IS YOUR JOB IF NOT TO RECTIFY the conflicts between your guests and their hosts?
WHAT DO YOU DO "ALL DAY"?
WHAT DO YOU HAVE TIME FOR?
NOT OUR SAFETY!
Here is the timeline of email communication both ON and OFF of Airbnb.
It begins with the ORIGINAL DATA on the morning I woke up and saw his attempt to solicit me both on and off the platform. If you look above at the timeline you can see the clear difference and manipulation of the chronology. I cannot believe Airbnb fucked with the data and protected this creep.