My daughter rented a condo in South Padre through Airbnb (BetterNotBite). Because she was just 18, the host requested an additional deposit (understandable given what some young people will do when unsupervised). She paid for the rental and the additional deposit through PayPal (another useless online service), also with debit from her bank account. The host claimed “that if nothing was damaged they would return the deposit”. I suggested to my daughter to take pictures with her phone upon arrival and departure of the condo, which she did.
She and her friends stayed at the condo, and enjoyed their few days on the beach and some of the tourist stuff in South Padre. The nightmare started upon returning home. The host claimed he would return the deposit through PayPal as nothing was damaged or claimed by the host as damaged. Well low and behold that when it was total flatline from the host, Airbnb and PayPal. No one will do anything to help retrieve my daughters’ deposit.
The host quit answering texts and emails, Airbnb sent back an auto-generated reply they would “look into the claim” in a certain amount of time (whenever that is), and PayPal said all they can do is let us know if the money shows up. This has sealed my daughter’s distrust in these type of online services. So many young people I know boast about all this wonderful technology as cheap, safe, and great things. Airbnb and PayPal lost a couple of customers (myself included) for a lifetime.
While we are just a few customers, I am sure they don’t care about doing anything to rectify the situation. Credit card companies at least have a live person to help customers. I am presently looking into small claims court options. We have done this before. Although it doesn’t get our money back if the host decides not to paid, if the owner ever decides to sell the condo or transfer ownership, the lien will show up on the property, and nothing will proceed without the lien being removed… so we will see.
We have printed all the text messages, and emails necessary, so we have all the evidenced to make this claim legit. It is nice knowing a few people in the legal system to help walk us through the small claims process. Airbnb is just an online conduit/meeting place for unscrupulous people, like doing business on the street with the mafia. PayPal is just an online bookie, collecting their cut and letting their customers get screwed twice (once by them and twice by with whom you’re doing business). What a total rip off.