Incompetent Search Engine for Five Guests

I decided to take a trip back to my hometown and unfortunately my family had an emergency and could not accommodate the five of us. The day before our departure I used different search engine for accommodation and a friend recommended I use Airbnb.

My criteria was four nights for five guests. Airbnb returned with a quote of R1900 and showed pictures of the rooms indicating one for two people and other one for three. We left early in the morning and were basically on the road the whole time. I was driving.

When we finally arrived at the destination, first they were looking for my booking and then the manager had to come assist. I, in the meantime, went through my emails to show them the reservation when I saw that at only 18:00 in the evening the guesthouse had sent me an email at 14:30 to say that we must book additional two rooms to accommodate us.

The purpose of using a site like Airbnb is to find the cheapest accommodation and/or a place with proper and suitable accommodation but it still remained my decision. The pictures of accommodation looked good because I showed it to two of my companions to get their approval before booking and they agreed it looked acceptable.

At the end of the day, we did not take the room and luckily my friend could accommodate us for the night. I had to find accommodations for the following three nights. I paid much more but at the end of the day I had quality for my money.

The guesthouse manager or owner said he would also find out from Airbnb about what went wrong but I think it did not really matter to him; I already paid Airbnb for accommodation, thus he will get his money irrespective if we used the place. Now I am trying to recover my money from Airbnb.

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


  1. My guess: you didn’t put the number of guests in your booking and basically booked (and paid) for one or two. Your mistake. No refund.

  2. I’m sorry to hear this happened to you. My guess is that the fact you didn’t use the room isn’t good enough reason Airbnb refunds you the money. You have to prove to Airbnb that the listing wasn’t as described and you need all the evidence (i.e. screenshots of the listing at the time of booking that it
    accommodates 5 people). It’s a hassle. I have been through this a lot. That’s why now i think Airbnb is a shady business. It’s just not worth it. It lures guests and hosts with too good to be true marketing (i should have known better) then in reaity Airbnb doesn’t and can’t deliver what they promised in their marketing. It only takes money in between and getting bigger and richer. I think this is wrong. Airbnb doesn’t have set in stone kind of procedures and policies because it itself makes money by using the system illegally. I hope people will become more aware of this situation and protect themselves. Airbnb should take their responsibility more seriously or just stop running the business and perish from the earth.

    I hope you can get your money back because certainly either Airbnb or host lied to you. Hosts can lie but Airbnb lies a lot. Even the case managers. Good luck

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