Guest Cancels and Leaves, But Still Charged

We booked a week in a property starting July 17, 2021. When we arrived, we found the accommodation to be very unsatisfactory. Initially on inspection we discovered the accommodation only had five beds yet our party consisted of six people. When you’ve paid £2,250 for a week you don’t expect to be offered a camp bed.

When we first arrived, the cleaner was still there mopping the floor. The maintenance chap was also there. Neither were wearing face masks. In the listing advertising the property it stated (and still does) a 100-inch HDTV. However, there was no big TV: it was actually 24 inches.

As we closely inspected the place, we discovered the kitchen area to be unclean, the utensils were very dirty, and there was a used tissue in one of the drawers. The biggest shock was the state of the double oven. On opening the first door we could clearly see it hadn’t been cleaned and was in very poor condition. When opening the second door we discovered someone’s leftover pie. The cleaner quickly snatched it and hid it behind her back. The entire kitchen was in a very poor condition and certainly not what you’d expect for that amount of money. The garden area was untidy, with the grass not cut and loose tiles on the path.

On contacting the host, we found him to be rude, swearing and suggesting we were being unreasonable. We had just completed a six-hour journey to find our booking wasn’t to any satisfactory standard. We very luckily found alternative accommodation 30 minutes away so our stay at the Airbnb lasted only two hours.

On contacting Airbnb that evening telling them about all the problems and supplying photo evidence, at no point were we told to cancel the reservation until three days later, which meant we received £550 out of the £2,250 paid. Unfortunately for us, Airbnb took the host’s side and stood by the decision not to give us a full refund, which astonished us after sending the photo evidence.

A few days later, I decided to request a charge back on my credit card. Within a week we had our money back on our card and felt relieved, until my card company reversed the decision to uphold the chargeback and now I am £1,700 out of pocket for accommodations I couldn’t and didn’t stay at. I’m still contacting Airbnb and the host but not really getting anywhere. I’m desperate for any help or advice on what to do next. I feel I have a very strong case but unsure what to do. Any advice would be appreciated.

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  1. This is very concerning. It seems there is nearly no recourse for customers. I am in a similar situation now and considering next steps. I would love to hear your final outcome.

  2. I’m sorry to hear about your situation. I had a similar situation this past February. This was in the US but I believe Airbnb‘s guest refund policy is the same. When you dispute it with your credit card you go outside of the Airbnb guest refund policy.I did the same thing which takes a whole different route and the group that responds to credit card disputes hand selected snippets of the dialogue I had with Airbnb customer service and denied the charge back by my credit card company. I had to re-open a case with Airbnb customer service and I cited the items in the guest refund policy along with the corresponding violations by the host that substantiated a refund, per their policy. They played the same game with me where they would go radio silent for days after my contacting them and providing the evidence that supported a guest refund. They would also commit to getting back to me in 24 hours and two days later I had to poke them with where they were with my case. It was an exhausting process but I was able to get the refund. You will have to be persistent and spend the time and energy providing your documentation and photos with their customer service escalation department. Good luck.

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