Waterfront Property doesn’t Mean 5km from the Beach

I booked a property in the Canadian wilderness. The cover photo was of this gorgeous beach and a large body of water, with the caption: “view from the gazebo.” Multiple other photos show this “private” beach, but once I booked the property I discovered the address is nowhere near any beach, just a tiny little pond. I asked the host about this just two hours after booking and told her I wanted to cancel my reservation and get a refund because it seemed like the property bordered a beach based upon her listing. She told me those photos must have been the tiny pond on the property and there is a river one can access 5 kilometers away. I didn’t book this place to stay 5 kilometers from a beach!

I immediately emailed her again, stating that based upon my Google Earth search, the pond is tiny and not what I was expecting based upon the photos. Three days later she replied the photos are actually of the river 5 kilometers away, and stated everything was made clear in her listing – so it’s my fault for not reading everything. I went online to look at her new Airbnb listing, and she changed everything! The photo that got me to make the booking is clearly labeled as a beach with river access 5 kilometers away and is no longer the cover photo. She now mentions multiple times in the description that the beach photo is of the river 5 kilometers away. So clearly these photos are of the river not the pond next to the residence! I asked for a refund since she clearly acknowledged her listing wasn’t clear – hence the extensive changes – and she refused. I lost 50% of the $1000 I paid for the week. DON’T book this property; the host is dishonest! I still haven’t heard anything from the Airbnb resolution center!

Airbnb Scammers – ALWAYS Check the URL!

I’ve been looking to rent an apartment in Barcelona and two people have already tried to scam me using Airbnb’s name. The initial contact is by email, and the format is always the same:

*The Bait*

“Bought the apartment but moved, it’s a great deal/very low price, can’t be bothered to show the place beforehand, will use Airbnb for safety/trust.”

*The Final Touches*

You pay directly to an “Airbnb Agent”. Then he will show you the place. If you don’t like it, you can get your money back in two days OR they send you a fake link (like this one) that looks exactly like the real deal.

*Bonus Points for the Scammers*

They also steal your personal information: when you request a booking you can, conveniently, sign in using Facebook, Google or your real Airbnb account. I used 123@gmail.com and 1234567 and it “worked” to get into the payments area…

*The Result*

You lose a ton of cash and have no one to whom to go as you never dealt with the real Airbnb.

*The Lesson*

ALWAYS CHECK THE URLs and, if you plan to deal outside Airbnb for any reason, make a deal with the owner where the first week/nights of your stay are booked through the real site, and then arrange an alternative means of payment for the rest of your planned stay.

Airbnb refused to refund money after false listing

Airbnb has consistently refused to refund any of the full paymen made (several hundred dollars) despite the host being aggressive and unwelcoming; the room not being private as per the misleading advertisement; and the apartment being dilapidated and unsafe. Airbnb has not allowed even a partial refund despite guests feeling they are put in danger or risk of abuse. Airbnb may be found in breach of its duty of care.