False Advertising for Toronto Airbnb the First Time


I was a first-time Airbnb user for a trip to Toronto in August for four people. The listing was advertised as a ‘2 bedroom luxury retreat’. While the location and view were great, the condo left much to be desired. It was definitely not luxury – more like shabby, and I don’t mean shabby chic.

I think the photos on the listing were probably the sales photos used to sell the unit to the host because nothing other than the view was like the photos. Not one single piece of furniture, all wall hangings, nor appliances were as in the photos.

In previous correspondence with the host, he had said that the unit had been painted and wouldn’t look like the listing photos. He never said the listing photos were a complete fabrication. The luxury condo looked like a poorly maintained frat house. No toilet paper or anything to dry a dish was anywhere to be found. The listing photos showed plush white towels; what we got was one small threadbare towel each.

To say we were disappointed was an understatement. The host who seemed so responsive prior to the final payment went completely dark once I contacted him about basic necessities and never followed up during our five-night stay. So, I wrote a negative review, and surprise – the host then immediately contacted me via phone calls and texts, saying he was taking the unit off Airbnb and moving in himself, that it was listed for more money than it should have been, etc.

He wanted me to change my review as it would affect the other unit he had listed with Airbnb. He offered a refund via e-transfer for our disappointing stay. I foolishly changed the review.

Guess what? That was a week ago and I never heard from him again, nor did I get any refund. Lesson learned and Airbnb may not ever see me using their service again. Only thing I’m sorry about is that I never took any photos of the actual condo to be able to post here alongside the fabricated one attached that I found in deleted emails. The listing is not online anymore.

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


  1. You cannot change a review once it is posted and the host has no access to that review until they post their own. Totally fake review.

    • This is NOT a fake review! The host’s listing, on the other hand, is! Once the review was submitted, I had 2 days to modify it before it was permanent and couldn’t ever be changed. My host took advantage of that by offering some compensation but waited until the review was permanent before then deciding to completely ignore his offer.

  2. Yep hard lesson. We are the neighbours next to a noisy Airbnb in the UK …. the so-called “super-host” (my derrier) offers a refund to anyone complaining so that she remains a “super-host”….. Airbnb I’m certain are aware of this …certainly we’ve said it often enough… all they are interested in are the profits $$$$$

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *