Bait and Switch Scheme by Airbnb Host


I am in a bad situation right now because the Airbnb host misled me badly about the location of my Airbnb. She listed the Airbnb in the listing as in Chicago (without a street address), so on Airbnb the approximate location pin appears on the center of Chicago. Then, after the booking, the real address was revealed to be far removed from where the pin was. I did not know about this until the night before checking in when I looked up the address.

This completely ruined my plans because there is a huge neuroscience conference happening at the same time of my stay and there is no reasonably priced listing anywhere left in the area where I need to be. My entire plans for the trip are ruined because of this situation. I can’t even book a hostel in the area.

Airbnb keeps forwarding me to other agents for three times now. I have not gotten any closer to resolving this issue. I do not want to go to my reservation because the host blatantly defrauded me. The only reason I would have booked that listing was for the location. I have never seen a location pin from the original listing so far away from where the actual address is. If anyone can help please let me know.

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


  1. My so-called Super-host in the UK does this …. and our Advertising Standards Council took this so-called Super-host to task and changed her advertising twice now. Not that Airbnb was the least bit interested with we complained on their Complaints site .. but then they make them profits.

    Our advice is simple … cancel the booking with Airbnb immediately. Search for a hotel or B&B in the area which is regulated (Airbnb in the UK is not and quite a few countries).. and don’t use them again.

    In short – as John Fox stated in his post – take control back for yourself… if the conference is nearing – why would you rely on the utterly unreliant Airbnb Company ???

  2. Very strange indeed. I have always been smack dab in the area I was shown. Which allows me to do my research before booking.

  3. Next time, let me tell you what I do after a lifetime in the hospitality business. They have this thing called Google. Let’s say I am going to Seattle and I like bed and breakfasts. I look them up on Google paying attention to the location I need to be. I can then look at the reviews on many different sites. (we all know that Airbnb reviews are sanitized for THEIR protection) I then pick up the phone and call the property DIRECTLY or use THEIR online booking function. Not only do I know the exact location of the property ahead of time but I don’t have to pay an ADDITIONAL 15 percent to a third party that is all up in my banking details and could ruin my trip due to last minute cancellation or a horrible property/location. The fact that Airbnb controls MY money is a deal killer for me.

    Same works for hotels or hostels.

    I personally find the Airbnb site to be horrible to use. As an example Seattle has 121 hotels but has in excess of 7,500 units (mainly apartments owned by corporate investors) on Airbnb alone. Yes you can narrow down the search a bit, but even then listings show up that are NOT in the general neighborhood you want. I find it incredibly confusing actually not to mention time consuming to wade through thousands of listings.

    Perhaps as a 54 year old man I am not tech savvy enough to use the Airbnb site but I feel the only way to be in TOTAL control of my travels is to just do it myself. So far so good. And it’s really quite easy! And of course your hosts will love you for dealing with them directly.

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