First Airbnb Experience: Ripped off in Sag Harbor


I’m a first time Airbnb user. We were very excited to book our first trip, an entire home called a “charming country cottage” in Sag Harbor. What we found was a house that was not the same as that in the picture in the ad, and we did not have the whole home but one small apartment on the first floor. It was Sag Harbor in the summer; everything  was full and with two small kids we could not exactly sleep on the street. We had to accept the accommodation despite feeling incredibly deceived and ripped off with false representation.

Afterwards we asked for a refund of around 60% of the booking cost which seemed more than fair and we expected the host to be removed from the listings; from previous comments it was clear she had rented by the room. As soon as she saw we were unhappy she turned from nice and charming to throwing mud at us. Now our only comment on our Airbnb profile is by her: “I am speechless how insulting the experience was hosting Carter. I would want to warn other hosts of this guest.”

This is nuts. This is like going to the police because you have been mugged and then the person who mugged you gets to post defamatory comments on your page. Look at the two pictures and guess which one is on Airbnb and which one is the actual house. Then assume from looking at the nice pic you are booking the “entire home” and just get the ground floor… I am so disappointed. We are waiting to hear back from Airbnb as to what action they will take and what refund we will receive. I have found no way to have the owner’s comments removed. I guess this is our first and last Airbnb experience and we have gone from huge enthusiasts and promoters of all we had heard of the brand pre-experience to hard core detractors. It’s such a shame. I still don’t understand how anyone can ever book a home on Airbnb when owners are allowed to post pictures that are not of their actual homes!

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


  1. Latest from AirBNB… they wont supply any refund, despite telling owner they cannot use fake picture and owner totally rewriting her page since this complaint…you really cannot make this up…. still pushing for common sense to prevail…. giving them one last try and if it does not cancelling my account and joining the class action or pursuing myself…

    This AirBNBhell site has been eye opening…cannot get over the number of other complaints since posting this of equal or worse experiences post more recently….it can only be a matter of time before governments step in and shut down this insanely unregulated company.

  2. Update : after waiting two weeks I got an email from Airbnb telling me that they had asked the owner to remove fake picture (!!!!) but “it had been states that it was not her house” (!!!) (I resent them a screen grab to show that this was not the case when i booked it …)

    Then they told me that unless i could prove I only had a one floor apartment not the whole house they could not refund me ! You cannot make this up !

    So, admitting that it was a fake picture they still are asking for further evidence and denying a refund as if that was not enough….insanity…

    I have responded via email (because there is no helpline) telling them that I can send pictures of the apartment (NOT the house i booked!) and still awaiting response….

    We have clearly been ripped off, AirBNB response so far has been very slow, unsympathetic and my profile remains tarnished by an owner who posted fake pictures who got angry that I called her out on it… AirBNB has a great brand and marketing team but what a terrible terrible experience this has all been… will update when I hear back from them if I ever get an apology and refund….


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