Airbnb Protects Hosts at the Expense of Guests

We booked a house near Aix-en-Provence in the south of France for 10 nights. When we arrived we discovered it was in a different location than that on the Airbnb map and actually right next to the highway. The host, Virginie, misled us into believing her house would be suitable for two small children using public transport (La maison MAChaBaGa, 194, Avenue du Camp de Menthe). It was the opposite of this. The doors did not lock, there was construction work taking place around the house, the pool she said we could use was very dirty, and there were no shops or restaurants – the host told us there would be. She told us the bus stop was right outside the property to get to town, but the nearest stop was actually a 15 minute walk along a dangerous road into oncoming traffic. Clearly not suitable for small children.

Workmen lit a fire next to the house, there was no privacy with the workmen appearing at the non-locking glass sliding door windows at random times, a plug socket fell off the wall exposing dangerous leads, and the host said she would provide towels and there were none; this seems like a minor inconvenience but is a real pain with two small children. It was a horrendous experience overall. We only stayed two nights and left as soon as somewhere else became available. I passed all of this information onto Airbnb who said that “we needed to let them know within 24 hours, we don’t qualify for the refund policy and the case is now closed”.

I’m in absolute shock at the appalling customer service. The host has taken almost £1000 from us and nothing is being done to stop her. We stayed two nights and she knew we had left after two nights, but has chosen to keep our money even though her house was unsafe and not at all as described. We’re very upset and now realise why Airbnb has been so successful – they avoid ever paying refunds to guests. They have offered us a pitiful refund, a fraction of the amount we are owed. They have even taken away the opportunity to write a review of the property to warn other guests. Hopefully they will find the information they need here. I will never use Airbnb again.

Scammed By AirBNB Host

I cannot recommend these apartments and this host. Our experience was very bad. I had told the contact person several times when I would be arriving. Upon arrival I was told it would be 2 hours before it was ready. The first weekend was extremely noisy and disturbing. There was very loud yelling and cussing in the middle of the night for at least 2 hours straight from a close unit. Then some people were arguing and yelling outside our door very early the same morning. I usually don’t wake up easy but these people have problems. My wife was very upset! The next night was almost as bad. Parking was also a serious problem. Before our stay I asked the host about the parking situation at the apt. She said that usually there is parking available directly in front of the complex to the west. If there were no places available I could park in any open places on the streets away from the direction of the beach. The first 3 nights I had to park 6 to 7 blocks away and walk to the complex.