We rented a three-bedroom apartment in Split, Croatia on the first floor using Airbnb. The host posted the same listing on Booking.com and Expedia too. At that time I did not know that my dream vacation would turn into a nightmare.
Let me start saying that the host is providing misleading information on the post. As per the description, it should be a deluxe apartment with a nice garden and air-conditioned accommodations. Sounds like a dream. It was a little expensive but the pictures were amazing; you can see a brand-new place with a garden and pool. I thought it was worth it. Such a mistake.
The location was not so good as advertised, but it was fine. The apartment was extremely dirty with hazards inside.
The place was hot, like 100 degrees F hot (+30/+35 Celsius) and all three bedrooms did not have AC. There were two ancient AC units in the living room and dining room. (Why the host has two AC units in one room, I do not know).
Two out of the three bedrooms did not have mosquito screens. As a result, I got a lot of mosquito bites during the night or could have slept in the hot box without the air. My son has asthma and he could not even breathe in the steamy hot bedroom. As result, my kids were sleeping, starting from the second night, on the sofa in the living room.
AC was not only a problem. In the master bedroom, we found blood stains on the mattress cover sheets. Super nasty. I sent pictures to the host in no time. She promised to remove the dirty sheets the next day, but it never happened. Also, all over the apartment were spider webs. Besides that, between window frames, there was a crazy number of dead bugs.
I opened the closet and I found old, dirty shoes. The closet inside was dirty too, and there were stains on the sofa and walls. The moldings on the floor were not fully attached. One of the bedrooms had a bleach stain on the cover. Generally, it was the dirtiest place we stayed in ever.
The washing machine was broken and discharge water was on the floor. I had to clean the water. There were exposed wires at electric outlets near the bed and wires all over the place, which could have caught fire in no time. My favorite example: a lamp in the bathroom had a wire exposed — good luck not getting electrocuted when you turn on the switch.
The pool was not usable. It was closed, and we could not even open it. In the listing’s picture, it clearly shows a beautiful pool. There was no mention on the listing that the pool was not in service, which is very misleading too.
The person who rents this apartment does not take care of the safety conditions. I sent many pictures and messages to the host within 30 minutes after checking in that I was not happy with the condition of the place, but she ignored my concerns. Airbnb asked me why I did not leave and fight later. Really, it is easy to say just go on the street, in another country and find a place to sleep with two kids, when you paid crazy money for this place and do not have a budget to pay another $2,300. Airbnb will not cover the cost.
After we left, the host posted fraudulent claims on Airbnb. The host stated as a fact that I asked for a refund for “the entire stay.” I never did this; I never thought it was an option before the review appeared and I called customer service to find out why the host was claiming this.
The host posted a review on Sept. 17. To create an escalation ticket regarding this fraudulent claim, I have to request a refund according to Airbnb policy. My request was created on Sept. 22. I did not request anything before her response. The refund requested was only for 22% of the total amount as punitive damages for the dirty apartment and false accusations. I was on and off with Airbnb customer service for a week. I had to provide pictures and videos to prove that the place was dirty.
The host also claimed that bloodstains were from me. I did report this issue right away, but no one cared. Actually, customer service said that I must provide proof that I reported stains right away and it was not my fault. I did report it on their website; they were too lazy to check.
A customer service representative said that according to Airbnb policy, hosts can post any false claim because it is only their opinion and does not need further investigation. Really? Hosts can post anything? Any false accusations? Nice to know.
Summarizing all this, Airbnb refused to help me with my concerns and stated that: “While we encourage and expect all community members to post reviews that contain objective and accurate information, Airbnb doesn’t mediate disputes concerning the truth of reviews. We expect the author of the review to stand behind the content of their review.”
Also, I requested Airbnb to check the misleading and false information regarding the apartment descriptions like the AC and pool, but they refused to do it. Every day I requested to talk to a manager, but my request was never satisfied. Airbnb only takes money and does not help with any issues. It’s so sad that people will pay money to this dishonest person and fees to Airbnb.