First and LAST time airbnb customer

I had never used airbnb before but was traveling with family to California for a wedding. My cousin was nice enough to book a place for us using airbnb. I was traveling with 2 other adults and 3 children so needless to say we were disappointed to find that she had only booked us a 2 bedroom condo but figured we’d make it work. That was until we got there and saw the condition of the place. It was cramped and filthy. The one bathroom was moldy and the sink was broken. The mattress in the master bedroom was stained with blood and urine. The kicker was there was no A/C and it was over 100 out. We had no idea what we were going to do until a man approached us and told us he was the landlord and that the place was not in fact a condo but an apartment and the tenant was in violation of his lease by renting it to us and we had to leave. We contacted the owner for a refund and he insisted that the landlord had told him we could stay but that he would refund us. So then the 6 of us basically homeless in LA attempted to book another place on airbnb. We found a place that looked great. It bragged of city views in a safe neighborhood so we booked it and headed out. On the way a friend from home said he could help us get a huge discount at a hotel starting the next night. We called the host of the place we just booked literally minutes earlier and asked if we could change our stay to just one night and offered to pay the cleaning fee as well. He said ok so we started our drive there. We started noticing that the neighborhood we were driving into was looking less and less safe the closer we got and then we drove up a street that was literally inhabited by only homeless people in tents. Of course, the house was right around the corner. We pulled up to a small 2 family home next to an open lot that had a 30 foot drop with no fence and garbage everywhere. We then received an email from our host saying that we were just too complicated for him and we should cancel our reservation. At this point, we didn’t want to stay there anyway but wanted to ensure a refund. The host came outside and we asked him to contact airbnb letting them know he was canceling not us. He said no, we had to do it first and then he would agree. Of course he never did and we ended up pleading with airbnb for a refund. This guy was completely fine with telling us we couldn’t stay but keeping $1500. It took 5 days for a refund so thank goodness we got a discount at the hotel or we wouldn’t have been able to afford to stay anywhere. We should have just booked an affordable hotel from the start. Never again!

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