Airbnb host lies about accommodations, guests denied refund

Here is my complaint to BBB Business Review and my story: I used Airbnb to book an apartment for a four night stay for a family vacation. The rental was advertised as accommodation for 8 people with 3 bedrooms, it tuned out to have 3 single beds in 3 bedrooms to accommodate 3 people maximum. One of the beds was small child’s bed, smaller and shorter than regular twin bed. We never checked in as when we saw the apartment, it was clear we will never fit in, never got the keys or brought the luggage. The person that showed the apartment to us agreed that we can not stay there unless we sleep on the floor. The Owner has apologized, called around to see if he can get some extra mattresses and after he didn’t succeed, he offered the full refund if we cancel. We had to book the hotel for just 1 night while sending requests for other apartments through Airbnb. We cancelled the original reservation through the website, but refund was declined. We spent 3 days talking to Airbnb representatives that refuse to give refund saying that the number of beds is correct we have no right to refund based on number of sleeping accommodations. All hotels are fully booked in Barcelona in August, Airbnb didn’t refund $1000 and we needed a place to stay, we had no choice, but to try settle for this apartment even we would sleep on the floor. But the owner has already re-booked it. So we paid for it with NO refund and NO accommodation available that we were charged for. We never checked in or got the key. So we ended up with no money or apartment while the Airbnb and the owner got paid twice as they rebooked our dates. I would like a full refund. The apartment was newly listed and had only 1 review, so I couldn’t see if other visitors had found the accommodation capacity to be as misstated as I did. I contacted the host using the phone number on my reservation to ask about the refund or possible stay if there is no refund, but received no reply to my calls or texts for 2 days. Eventually he wrote to me that the matter of refund is out of his hands and up to Airbnb and the he re-rented the apartment to another guests for the days we booked it originally. So the “host” got paid twice and my family and I were left without the money $1000 and without the place to stay. I began the complaint process with Airbnb immediately on the fist day and I was told to cancel the reservation formally through the website. Ultimately Airbnb didn’t issue a refund, but instead offered a coupon for future stay in an amount less than one fourth of what I paid Airbnb for the rental. They denial of refund was based on the fact that the number of beds matter, not the number of guests advertised. Also, it was noted that I should have taken pictures of the issues I raised in my complaint. I was in the apartment only 15 minutes, never been given the key, the owner agreed to refund and I didn’t think to stop and snap some pictures. Is my testimony and the testimony of my family not enough? Why would I lie about this? Would pictures of three tiny beds really add anything to the complaint? And now because I was advised by the Airbnb customer service associate to cancel the reservation, I am unable to post an honest review of the space and warn future potential guests to stay away from this rental. To me this is the most egregious trespass ** all since the whole foundation of the Airbnb model and the so-called “sharing economy” is the customer review system.

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