Horrendous Experience in Barcelona Airbnb Boat

This review is intended to dissuade anyone from utilizing Airbnb due to the misrepresentation of their listings. I have already tried to resolve this in a reasonable manner with Airbnb customer service only to be ignored for the past few weeks. I booked a property via Airbnb for a boat in Barcelona only to be told on arrival by the host that the boat has failed a safety inspection and is not even in the water. Apart from anything, this property is still listed as available on the website which is unethical and a complete misrepresentation.

Following this, after waiting half a day of a four-day trip, Airbnb assigned us another property. We went to this accommodation to find it damp, with no air conditioning or natural light. It was not listed this way on the website, so we informed both the host and Airbnb that these conditions didn’t meet suitable standards and we would not remain on the property. We then had to book another hotel and received no help or compensation from Airbnb. The only refund I have received is a £42 late check-out fee. This is completely unacceptable, and Airbnb has refused to pass on the details for the correct way to escalate this within the organisation. When a company of this size acts as though they are too big and too powerful to care about individual customers, it is important people know about the poor service. This is especially true considering it is no cheaper than a high standard hotel that upholds their standards and policies.

Getting our Feet Wet with Airbnb… Literally


Due to a bad internet connection and just now being able to book some accommodation, we can only now write this email. We have tried to contact Airbnb, but every time we get an error message. We booked a place through Airbnb and it was a nightmare. Our first night in Norway (which was eagerly anticipated) disappeared and became very irritating. First, we couldn’t find the boat (through bad communication as there was no number). After an hour drive and asking around, we found the office and had to ask inside the “Asker Marina” where the boat was. The lady couldn’t help us as we had to provide a number, which we couldn’t.

Luckily, we had wifi and emailed the host, Pedro. He eventually sent his friend over to help us. The friend was really helpful and showed us the boat in which we were staying. Inside, there was a horrible smell. It was very dirty, but we thought if we left the doors open for a while, we could get some fresh air inside. After an hour, we found out that the toilet wasn’t working as the valve for the flush got stuck. We emailed Pedro (he was apparently living in Spain); he first asked us to contact him by phone in Spain. However, we could only send email, so that was not an option. He said he would send his friend to help, but we had to wait 1.5 hours as his friend was that far away.

We had dinner and when we came back, his friend was already there. He fixed the valve. During the night, we woke up as the front of the boat (where we were sleeping) was leaking and the water dripped into my husband’s ear. My bedding and hair was wet and all the water came from the ceiling (photos have been taken). The floor was covered with water and we had to put the towels on it to avoid getting our feet wet.

We couldn’t sleep anymore, but couldn’t leave either at 3 o’clock in the morning. The next morning, the lady from Asker Marina came to us and told us we had illegally slept on that boat as nobody is allowed to sleep on the boats. People who are renting a berth are aware of those rules. She said the owner of the boat is not allowed to make money by doing illegal things and certainly not through Airbnb. She advised us to make a complaint as his boat isn’t suitable for renting out.

We had an email correspondence with Pedro and told him we wanted 50% of our money back. We couldn’t find another hotel or place to sleep around 9:00 PM that night when we found out that what was mentioned in the Airbnb wasn’t delivered and we were so tired that we weren’t able to shop around for another place to sleep. We still want at least 50% of our money back as we feel mislead by Pedro and his advertisement with Airbnb. Pedro also promised a private bath (which was there only for public use – very dirty; see photo).

There was no Zodiac or Fjord tour, as there was very bad communication as to which boat did the tours or how to get there. There was no description where things where how they worked. We weren’t able to close the boat properly so we needed to take our valuables with us all the time (the boat was completely open with no seal or lock). This boat was old, dirty and leaking through the roof (when it started raining during the night).

Finally, there was the host’s attitude against us, first promising to refund our money, later rejecting this, and starting to accuse us of several things. He charged us a lot of money for nothing (two different prices in Australian dollars and Euros and all illegal; bad for the reputation of Airbnb). It was our first time in Norway. We saved a lot for this trip and he made our first night a nightmare. This kind of advertising is misleading. Airbnb needs to protect other people from this kind of Spanish Mafia.

Airbnb Offers No Customer Service Whatsoever

Let me first say that Airbnb offers no way to leave a comment or complaint. I tried, but when I left a comment in the cancellation field under the “other” box for reasons, I couldn’t process the cancellation. I was only able to cancel using one of their predetermined reasons (that don’t allow any comments). Jessica (my host) did not notify us that the location of her Airbnb houseboat had changed. We made the reservation on September 9th, 2016 for February 17th-24th, 2017. Had I not visited her listing this week, I still wouldn’t have been aware of the change. I booked a stay on her houseboat at Regatta Point Marina in Palmetto – a full service, premier marina. Her original description listed the marina amenities: pool, exercise room, a bar and restaurant on site, and gated. The boat was located on C Dock. Jessica’s listing description has now changed to state “the location of the houseboat has changed”… since when? Sometime around December?

I found out it was now located at the Bradenton Beach Marina – a mom and pop place with none of the aforementioned amenities – under and next to the bridge (causeway) that connects Anna Maria Island to the mainland; in other words, it’s noisy. This is not what I agreed to when I made the reservations. Although Jessica has changed the description of the accommodations, she left the location map and pictures from the initial listing on the Airbnb website. I called Jessica the morning of February 9th, and she did not return my call. I sent a message from the Airbnb website the morning of February 9th, and she has not responded. I feel she should pay the Airbnb service fee for our cancellation as the property description and location has changed substantially, and she has not communicated with me regarding these changes. It seems she would have at least notified her confirmed guests back in November or December there was a change so if they wanted to make other plans, they could. I tried to copy the URL from the listing but it had been removed immediately after I cancelled.