Cheating Host Supported by Airbnb Customer Service

The Airbnb accommodation I booked was garbage. It was based in a slum of Ipanema and incorrectly displayed on the map on the listing, miles away from seaside. The taxi driver from the airport was more useless in finding the address than our telephone. He called Mari (the Airbnb owner). She guided the taxi driver after he was reluctant to go into that area, known for criminal activity. The driver said it was not safe even for me and no one should go there. At our request, under the compelling circumstances, and in fear of our threat to report him to the police he did finally take us. Finally, we reached the end of the street where someone was waiting for us, who guided us through narrow streets two to three feet wide for 200 meters. This zigzag street was a 45-degree ascent up the hill – very difficult to climb or walk. We reached a small house after about 40 meters and then there were stairs without a railing. Then we had to climb to the four floor, which was very risky for my child and for me having a heart condition. When we reached the top, there was one room with rotten furniture and two single beds. Adjacent to it was a small room with a broken sofa. Both room had dirty sheets. This was not like any other apartment in the world nor it was in the Ipanema area as anyone would understand it.

This listing is a stigma on Airbnb and if it is not removed then it should be considered fraud. I should be refunded the total amount for my stay. I’ve contacted the international number for Airbnb customer service from time to time but after holding for five to six minutes each time there was no response.

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


  1. Mine is a story of being scammed by the host – without ever having spent any time on the property! My husband, children and I were hoping to spend a week in Punta Cana, DR and I looked on airbnb as a possible alternative to a hotel stay.This would be our second stay with airbnb. The first trip- two years prior, went smoothly so I had no doubt this would work out well. I pressed “book” because under the “book” button, it stated, “Your credit card will not be charged”.
    About 1 hour later, I then contact the host to let her know that I was having trouble getting flights to PC that week and could I extend the return date ? No answer! I sent another email to the host Julia, stating again, that I may have to cancel because I could not get flights. NO REPLY . I was alarmed when I saw my credit card was charged $1729.00 so I contacted Julia again! I received a standard reply about the rules of the house, etc. and at the end of this long email she said that the dates could not be extended but that I could book at another property in the complex. I told her that I would probably need to cancel in that case and also asked if perhaps she could take me out of that week and into another week. NO REPLY YET CC WAS CHARGED!

    When I realized this host was not responding to any of my concerns, I cancelled the reservation by hitting the cancel button (less than 24 hours after her one and only reply). Julia credited me $812 instead of the full 1729.00 I contacted Airbnb that same day and very long story short – I called daily and they took 3 weeks to “resolve” the issue.
    I pointed out that I cancelled the reservation less than 24 hours after host replied, and 45 DAYS BEFORE THE TRIP was scheduled!!! When Airbnb finally got around to addressing this, they emailed saying asked the host if she would refund the $917.00 and “Julia said no” Really??? Oh OK then, go ahead and keep nearly $1K of my hard earned money !

    I have pleaded with Airbnb to get my money back and explained that the host not only had 45 days to book the property SHE BOOKED IT! I also noticed the listing on TripAdvisor and again, that week was booked! Julia lost nothing! She gained 917.oo of my hard earned money that I saved for nearly a year so that I could take my children and husband on a vacation!

    Airbnb said Julia has a strict cancellation policy and that there was nothing they could do!!!

    AIRBNB has proved to be as unethical as their scamming host! Btw, the host advertises $75 per night but she has nothing under $190 on “off season weeks” and charges $750/nt for Christmas week! That, of course, is her business and not mine! The fact that she scammed me out of nearly $1000.00 and Airbnb is shrugging their shoulders is an OUTRAGE! Had my cc company not stepped up I don’t know what I would have done because Airbnb insists they can’t help me “her policy is strict”. Honestly, if you press the “book” button and 30 sec later you cancel, Julia’s strict policy says you are out of luck?? If that is the case then CHANGE THE POLICY AIRBNB! Karma is Karma and I have to let this Sh@t go! Thanks for listening

  2. You threatened a taxi driver with arrest because he warned you about going into a sketchy neighborhood? Wow. You have more issues than AirBnB can currently solve

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