This Airbnb did not do what it said on the website. First of all, the photo showed a lovely high property with a view; it turned out to be taken far above the property and in reality the view was a grubby looking high fence with a building behind it. The listing advertised: “There is one other professional living in including me. All are working full time and pretty chilled. There is Netflix and a big TV so you can entertain yourself. It’s a big three-bedroom house so you can enjoy your space there.”
Reality: while the host was at work, his non-English speaking parents turned up looking puzzled. They were home all day and night and had Indian TV on so I couldn’t use TV in English as they didn’t understand it. We were in the lounge the whole time.
The kitchen was minuscule (only one person could fit at a time) and his mum was frowning at me when I was trying to make space in her cupboard for my food. The stairs were so narrow I could hardly get my case up them (good thing I’m not extra large) and so I spent the whole first evening stuck in my room watching stuff on my iPad. I went to wash my coffee cup and was appalled by the state of the dishbrush with loads of ingrained dirt and muck on it. The bedroom had no towel and when I asked for one, the host’s father didn’t understand and had to ring the host. Everything was covered in dust and there was a beer bottle left in the bin.
I messaged the host to cancel the reservation he said he totally understood and I’d get a full refund. However, in the morning he was arguing that I should still pay for the night and also I’d have to pay a service fee to Airbnb. We went on the Airbnb website to cancel. He said he didn’t want to do it himself because it might affect his reputation. He tried to get me to use ‘guest extreme circumstances’ to cancel so he wouldn’t be shown in a poor light. I refused.
He said I had a kitchen and TV… so why was I complaining? I said I didn’t understand Indian TV so I couldn’t watch what they had on (all night) and I certainly wouldn’t barge in and grab the remote to do so when they didn’t understand English TV. He was not happy. I pointed out that he said on his listing there were two professionals out all day – nothing about a family inside all day. He didn’t see the problem.
I tried to contact Airbnb all morning. Of course their site has you going around in circles. They obviously make it as hard as possible to make a complaint. They tell you to click on their ‘contact centre’ for help which actually just puts you back in touch with the host. I’m not impressed and still trying to contact them.