Airbnb Bait and Switch Ruins Miami Birthday Trip


I posted a review on Airbnb of the drama but they took it down stating I posted ‘sensitive content’ but have yet to tell me what that is. The host sent me an email with an address that was not the actual address of his unit. He lied. There were multiple codes to enter the elevator and the unit that didn’t work all the time either. There were also signs posted at the elevators stating that they do not allow Airbnb.

Our flight was delayed due to weather issues. We had to overnight in Nashville. I told the host and he said to call when we arrived in Miami. A full day after our initial check-in time, we arrived. It was when I called a second time notifying him of our arrival that the host revealed that he purposefully emailed me the wrong address. The real address was two blocks away. Not only that, he said we could not all enter the building at the same time, could not bring all of our bags in at once nor could we talk to the staff. If they did speak to us, we were to say we were his cousins. The Airbnb ad also said there was free parking; there was no free parking on the street or in the building, just $45 per day.

There was pubic hair in the sheets and pee stains on the mattress. Fingerprints were on most surfaces, the light switches were dirty, there were wet towels in the washing machine, years of dust and dirt buildup in the louvered doors to the laundry closet, the bedsheets were dirty (crumbs, specks of glitter, pen and marker on sheets), and makeup marks on the doorframe of the master bathroom. The toilet cover and seat looked around 50 years old. The toilet bowl was not completely clean. There were dry food pieces in the microwave. The high chair back had no screws. Refrigerator was dirty.

There were fingerprints on the sliding glass door to the balcony that had two metal folding chairs. Blinds were missing pieces and not even long enough to cover the glass on the door that lead to the master bedroom. A few random suspect sheets to change out but nothing matched. The towels looked recycled. There were only three washcloths, recycled from a car wash I suspect.

The host had the nerve to tell us his ‘man’ who was supposed to clean did not have time to finish. How is that even possible when we were a day late? He had the nerve to ask us to wash the sheets and finish drying the wet towels. We immediately went to Walmart and picked up sheets and cleaning supplies. Beforehand he promised to reimburse us for parking, the day we lost and Walmart costs. The time we lost doing this and standing in the longest line ever can never be repaid.

We told Airbnb about these issues but the first thing they said to us was we should have called within 24 hours of check-in. How can we call when we didn’t find out until after the time expired? Despite proof of the legitimate flight delay and proof that he waited 24 hours to reveal the real address, Airbnb refused to refund us outright. Instead they said the host would have to agree. Which of course he did not. The guy even sent me a threatening text message a week after his refusal.

I put up a review, they take it down. Do they take down his bait and switch post? Nope. Airbnb is completely complicit in his scam.

I am going to pay the arbitration fee and go through the process which is required by their terms of service before you sue Airbnb. I will never use this service again. To make matters worse, the unit wasn’t even cheaper than a hotel; it was just a busy weekend in Miami and we couldn’t get anything else close by all of the events we were going to for my sister’s birthday trip.

Posted in Airbnb Guest Stories and tagged , , , , , .


  1. About the 24 hour rule-did you report to the host via the Airbnb platform your check-in was delayed?

    If you did Airbnb has the information to recons your claim.

    You can reopen this by sending a private message via Twitter @airbnbhelp. You can request they escalate this to their fraud department. The Customer Service reps have a script & don’t fully know what needs to be escalated. This is complicated so push for an escalated review.

    Best wishes

  2. I truly hate this happened to you. The moment the host sent you a different address than you booked you were off the Airbnb platform. At that moment was the time to contact Airbnb.

    Arrival at a place with “No Short Term rentals allowed” was your 2nd you should’ve reported to Airbnb.

    Arrival to a clearly nasty & unkept accommodation was a third time you should’ve reported to Airbnb.

    You reviewed the stay. Airbnb’s review content policy prohibits disclosure of sensitive information like full names or addresses.

    If you had reported the address change, the rental prohibition, or horrible conditions, Airbnb could have found you better accommodations.

  3. I also had a horrible experience much like yours.
    They lie to you, send you another person to speak with time and time again. Their tactic is to wear you down. And unfortunately, that’s what they did. My son had so much lost work time on the phone and had to give up. I tried to get involved because he was giving up after 6 months of run around. I couldn’t stand the thought but I like him, got nowhere. I reached out to the Florida Attorney General and they told me (get this ?)
    That because the host would not respond to the complaint they had to drop my case. Are you kidding???
    I never thought I would also give up but I did, they won.
    My life is too short and I will never use them again and I share this story every chance I get.

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