I was a regular Airbnb customer, and this is my story. I went to Brazil for a business trip, from Ireland. I booked a room in Sao Paulo. I was arriving on a Sunday, and I work remotely for an Irish company. Therefore an internet connection is a must for me every place I go. I arrived to this place, and there was no person to welcome me; the host left one key with the concierge of the building, who works for the building and not for the host, so he gave me the key and that was it.
I entered the place, and there was no internet. I worked with it, spending two hours trying to fix it, but everything seemed normal – the reason there was no internet was actually that there was no service, so you could connect to the network, but there was no connection. I went to a bar with free wifi and contacted the host. She told me she lived 800 km from there, and that she would contact the internet company. Then she confirmed there was something wrong and that the company would fix it on Monday.
As I had to work, I moved into a hotel beside the property, where I was able to connect to the wifi. I spent ten nights in that hotel and the internet problem was never resolved. The host said to Airbnb that there were no internet problems, and that the issue was probably my device, being that I had four devices, and I worked in IT. Therefore I requested a refund from Airbnb. After the first night, Airbnb told me they would not refund me if I cancelled from their website. In fact I did not cancel the booking from the website, and they told me: “Okay, but you left the place” I said: “Yes, I left, but I still have the key.”
Then they asked me to provide pictures. I provided pictures of the modem with all the lights on, the devices not connecting, etc. The host got her money for no one being there, Airbnb has had my case open now for four months, and no one has yet contacted me. When I call Airbnb they say: “Your case is with the legal department…” I believe Airbnb could have stopped the payment from going to the host until the case had been resolved.