Guests Meet Sketchy Host, Airbnb Refuses Refund

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As a single mom traveling with my two children for the first time, I decided to book an Airbnb so that I had a backup if something went wrong. This was a big mistake. A week before my arrival the host was unreachable (for the first time) and after three days was found. A few days before our visit we spoke on the phone and I asked if we could check in earlier, since we were scheduled to land at noon. He said that would be no problem.

The day before we left I contacted him to confirm and he said he would be home, and to call him from the airport. I did so but he didn’t answer. After a few unanswered calls, I decided to take a taxi to the address given on Airbnb, thinking I would just knock on the door and wake him up. We got to the address but there was no entrance to the building. The only entrance was from the side of the building, but it was a different address and his name wasn’t there.

I was alone in Barcelona with two kids and three big suitcases, and it was raining. We waited for him in a cafe nearby; after half an hour he responded on the phone. He came to the cafe and had a strong smell of alcohol on his mouth, so I felt completely insecure. I asked him what was wrong with the address and he said “Oh, the flat is somewhere else. didn’t I send you the address?”

Would you go with a man like that, as a woman traveling alone with two kids?  I contacted Airbnb immediately and they sweet talked me back and forth, suggesting I could solve any problems with the host, implying something about the cancellation policy. To this day I have not received a serious answer, and there is no number to reach customer service. I paid 3000 IS and have nobody to turn to. I contacted the Israeli press and they are now checking what can be done. What a huge disappointment. I will never recommend traveling with Airbnb.

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Summer Vacation Went Terribly Wrong With Airbnb

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My daughter took her children for a vacation this summer to reward them for doing such a great job in school. She had never used Airbnb before, so I recommended it. She arrived at the place where the host was supposed to meet them; instead, she waited two very long frustrating hours with her very excited children. One of her children has a disability and doesn’t handle stress very well.

When they were finally let in, the place was not at all the same as the one advertised and was so dirty there was no way they could stay there. When she reached out to Airbnb, they said she would not have to contact the host and that it would be resolved quickly. The second case manager said that she should have contacted the host to have it cleaned up. Not only was the hygiene a problem, it was fraud. She is home now with her very sad children because they only had a small amount of money for this vacation and a short time. The booking was for July 6-10 and still not resolved. I have been on the phone with up to fifteen different representatives for five days and they keep telling me that a case manager will get back to me. I’m not sure what this company spends their billions of dollars on but it sure is not customer service. VRBO is the way to go.

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