These are the facts about what happened upon arrival at an Airbnb residence in London. My partner’s father and grandmother, residents of Germany, were visiting myself and my partner between Sunday, June 17th, 2018 and Friday, June 22nd, 2018. My partner’s grandmother has not visited the UK before and this will be the last time she will travel to there.
Upon arrival in the UK, my partner, my partner’s father, my partner’s grandmother and I went to the Airbnb residence. Upon arrival, we were disgusted with the cleanliness of the apartment, the floors being sticky and with clear connotations that they had not been cleaned in a while. There were also several stains on the coffee table.
This was not the worst part, as upon inspecting the flat my partner’s grandmother (a woman in her 70s) found what she thought to be a transparent sealable spare button bag. While looking at it, the unmistakeable stench of cannabis wafted from within. This was found at the base of the kitchen counter, clearly seen from any place within the room. When investigating further we also found remnants of cannabis cigarettes both in the rear sliding doorframe as well as just outside the door.
We took pictures of the bag as well as one of these used cannabis cigarettes which we placed on the counter to clearly be seen against its black surface. On top of this we have the physical evidence. Immediately we were in touch with the Airbnb team to escalate the matter and ask for a refund. We were directed by the support team towards both the resolution centre and asked for a refund from the owner of the property.
Upon the owner not accepting the terms, we contacted Airbnb customer service directly. This is where the level of service provided to us has been shocking to say the very least. Due to the language barrier, as well as no help from Airbnb to resolve this, the verification stages for me to represent my partner’s father were practically impossible to do until he was asked to call them directly to verify his representation. This was the initial issue that was not resolved in a professional or timely manner by customer service representatives.
After this shocking experience for my partner’s grandmother as well as the terrible customer service my partner’s father and I experienced, I was finally verified to speak on his behalf. My grandmother has not seen or ever come into contact with illegal substances in her entire life. A reminder at this moment that we found illegal drugs in the apartment with photographic evidence as well as physical evidence to support this.
I have called the customer service number multiple times, speaking with several agents that represent Airbnb’s so called ‘service’. They refused to give me their representative ID numbers. Upon asking to escalate this issue several times and asking to speak with either a manager or someone who is more equipped to deal with my service issues, every single representative said that they could not pass me to a manager or an escalation point.
Upon exploring potential options such as transferring me to another agent, to a line manager, to an escalation point, to even physically leaving their desks to walk to a ‘managerial’ department, I was refused service. To help understand what customer service is, here is a definition of “customer service” by Oxford Dictionary:
The help and advice that a company gives people who buy or use its products or services.
To this day, I have received no help, only excuses for how Airbnb is structured into different departments with zero points of escalation. No advice on the next steps, only excuses stating that this ‘ticket’ is with the escalation team, a department that has no customer facing contact point. Finally, there has been no answer as to when this will be finished.
I have been in contact with our professional legal team to settle these matters publicly with the overarching support from the police, who will be notified if we do not get an answer/refund as soon as possible. Having been ten days since originally escalating the issue to the ‘resolution centre’ department, this is unacceptable and we will be taking further action if there is no resolution or response by this Friday (June 29th, 2018). What are everyone else’s thoughts on this? No opinions about illegality/legality of cannabis please – this is a Class B drug in the UK.