Guests POISONED During Nightmare Airbnb Stay!!

We are SOOO disappointed with the accommodation that we booked in July 2015 in Amsterdam! It started out OK…

Upon arriving, the representative let us into the apartment, showed us through, provided some maps and information to the area etc. During his explanation of the apartment to us, he casually mentions that the apartment has a distinct smell as it was only days before, sprayed with poison/chemicals for routine pest control. At the time, we didn’t think anything of it. We left to get some dinner, returned, showered etc and prepared for bed. The next morning we woke with varying degrees of headaches, nausea, dizziness and near-vomiting. The smell was unbearable. (It was also quite rainy so no windows could be opened to air the place out.) We called the representative EARLY that morning (approx 7am) and informed him of what had happened and that other arrangements would need to be made. We let him know that we had activities planned for the day, but he said that ‘someone would be in touch’ to let us know of what to do from there. By 4pm that afternoon, we had not heard from him, the owner of the apartment OR Airbnb. We left and checked into a hotel. We did not hear from anyone for the remainder of our time in Amsterdam. We began the process (online) to claim a refund. We were surprised to learn that approximately only one night’s worth of accommodation was refunded and we were still out of pocket for the rest of the nights! (approx $AUD1700!)

The first issue is this – THEIR website states: Accommodations on the Airbnb platform should meet minimum quality standards regarding safety, access, and cleanliness, and they should be consistent with the description provided by the host. I’d like to know how an apartment, sprayed with toxic chemicals, is in any way SAFE?! We had two small children aged only 4 and 6 at the time, we were the most affected by this. On these grounds alone we should have qualified for a FULL refund. The apartment should have NOT been available at that time – to let the chemicals air/disappear. Airbnb DID NOT inform us of this prior to our check-in and should have. Had we known, we would not have stayed there. So I have to assume then that maybe they knew this, and that’s why this wasn’t disclosed? (can anyone say ‘fraud’). So they took our money anyway, knowing that the apartment was less than acceptable.

Second issue is this (again from their website): For a full refund, cancellation must be made a full 24 hours prior to listing’s local check in time (or 3:00 PM if not specified) on the day of check in. For example, if check-in is on Friday, cancel by Thursday of that week before check in time. or If the guest cancels less than 24 hours before check-in, the first night is non-refundable. or If the guest arrives and decides to leave early, the nights not spent 24 hours after the official cancellation are 100% refunded. Clearly, we fit into the third category. We did check in, we did leave early. So the nights not spent after the official cancellation are 100% refunded!! (or should be…)

I have called the Australian number (only to be diverted to some Phillipino call centre) where the staff are clearly only trained to answer with very scripted answers. My details are ‘passed on to case managers’ who DON’T call back even though I have asked for TWO calls now, but instead reply with emails that state: Thanks so much for your patience throughout this process. We appreciate the time you’ve taken to share your concerns with our team. However, we have issued our final decision for this case and we will disengage from further discussion on this topic. Really?! They’re “disengaging” from this topic?? The customer, ME, does NOT accept the matter closed! Their OWN policy tells me I’m entitled to a refund! What is the point of a policy if you do not stick to it?! It isn’t worth anything. Given the seriousness of our complaint – the POISON you expected us to live in – they STILL have not addressed this issue and they continue to say that they’re decision is final. Again, I do not consider this matter closed and I will be informing the relevant authorities here in Australia that I can and any and all social media platforms!

Save your money and just book with hotels! Zero stars for you Airbnb Fraudsters!

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One Comment

  1. I’m not saying that your comments aren’t warranted but I thought I’d chime in that you probably were not poisoned by the pest control chemicals. I own a pest control company (not in Amsterdam, but in the US), and we do routine sprays like those mentioned here hundreds of times a day. I do them in my own house even and the chemicals evaporate within 10 minutes or so. It’s safe to be in the house while spraying and it’s even safe for small dogs. The pest control chemicals used are all but gone a few hours after spraying. They wouldn’t cause you to get sick like this even if they had sprayed a few hours before you got there, let alone a few days. Even then, to expose yourself you’d have to lick the baseboards.

    The only chemicals that might cause that is termite treatments which uses termidore, and usually requires you not to be in the house for 24-48 after a heavy treatment. But if exposed to that chemical you would find yourself in the hospital without a cure.

    Just from one pest control expert. I’m pretty sure you weren’t poisoned by pest control. It was more than likely food poisoning.

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