Airbnb Bait and Switch, Fake Reviews


We had a lot of problems with an Airbnb house in Houston. When I kindly told the host to fix the following problems he got extremely aggressive.

A few days before arrival, the host has switched the property. The property I initially booked is no longer listed on Airbnb. I paid more than double the price, as the host was asking for the new listing. The new listing said that it was located in a historic, quiet neighborhood. However, it was located in a run-down neighborhood.

The other neighbor had three big dogs (five feet away from the bedroom) which barked all day and night. We were always waking up and it felt very uncomfortable.

The TV did not work. When we arrived, the Internet TV had no power cable and it was not installed with the router. The stove and oven did not work either, because the gas meter was locked by the gas company. After two days, we had no more access to the laundry room.

As of April 1st, 2018, Texas law dictates that any residential and commercial structures with both sleeping areas and gas or fuel-burning appliances must install and properly maintain carbon monoxide alarms. However, there was only a cheap smoke detector, no carbon monoxide and no fire extinguisher. The host was very reluctant to solve these problems.

Without getting a review from me, the host was giving me a totally bad review, without reason. However, in the last email to me he wrote: “It was a pleasure hosting you! We will be certain to leave a great five-star review for your stay. If you ever come back, please let us know and give us the chance to accommodate you again. A five-star review for us as hosts is very important for our business. Please don’t forget to give us that.”

After checking the reviews of the listing, I discovered they were all fake.

Complaint Regarding Airbnb Host in Istanbul

We only wanted a one-day stay with this host in a clean and at least half decent room. The photos were decent and the information stated it was on the entrance floor. However, on arrival the young boy at the entrance took us to a room deep under a staircase, not the entrance level. It was dark, humid and smelt damp and wet, a room which was located between the electricity cable cupboards. Inside it was filthy and the furnishing was completely different from what he had in the photos. The reality was the furnishing was old and dirty (see photos).

We contacted the host immediately but he refused to help us. He told us to cancel if we wanted; there was nothing he could do. I told him it was frightening walking down dark staircases, as that is not what we were expecting. He said, “You are scared – no one else is, deal with it.”

I also told him the room had no real window and he continually disagreed and shouted there was a window. The “window” was a small storage window (see photos).

I have used Airbnb multiple times before and I know the many host policies, specifically: listing photos fairly represent the condition and layout of the space. I have not seen such drastic differences between the photos and the actual room: such filth and no hygiene. I also had to deal with a rude host. We had to stay in the room because we had no choice. If I knew about the situation, I wouldn’t have paid 315 TL for a rubbish room under a staircase. I want others to know about my experience and not to trust this host and his fake photos.