I recently booked a stay at an Airbnb in the center of Paris for two nights. When I got to the Airbnb in the middle of the night, I was unable to get into the Airbnb because the key was missing. I later discovered that the host knowingly did not leave the key for me and said it was because the cleaning was not finished; however, oddly enough, the reservation was confirmed by both the host and Airbnb itself and I was expecting a place to stay during my time in Paris.
When I was unable to contact the host when no key was found, I contacted Airbnb, who then requested that I book a hotel for the two nights and they would refund us for the bookings as well us reimburse us for the hotels. Since it was 1:30 AM in the center of Paris during the summer, no hotels were available and I was left stranded and on the streets along with all the homeless people camping outside.
Airbnb assured me that they would try to find a hotel and at one point even told me that they found one and were processing everything, but about an hour later told me they had nothing. This forced me to go out and walk hotel to hotel in the middle of the night looking for some type of shelter. After about six hotels and begging, I was denied by the sixth and left to stand outside still on the phone trying (with no luck) to get a room from Airbnb when finally the concierge came out and made a deal with us to give us a dirty room that another person had just left, but only if I paid full in cash. This left me to run down the street to a random ATM to withdrawal 200 Euros just so that I wouldn’t be left out homeless on the streets by Airbnb.
When I was finally able to take care of this issue, Airbnb assured me that I would be reimbursed for both nights at the hotel. The case manager then went on to explain that she would be in contact with us again the next day to book us a hotel. The next morning I called Airbnb and spoke with another agent to confirm that I wouldn’t be left stranded on the streets again. I was then notified that no hotel had been booked and that the case manager would be the only one allowed to handle the case. It was unsure of whether or not she would be coming in that day. I was then told to book whatever hotel I found available and Airbnb would reimburse me when I sent the invoices.
Therefore, I went on to take care of the issue myself and was able to find a room at the Shangri La Hotel, a high end hotel, that actually had a few rooms left because of the high cost. I booked the room, checked in, and everything was fine again. Finally at about 8:30 PM, my case manager from Airbnb finally called me to confirm that everything was okay. I told her that I had found a room at the Shangri La Hotel and had checked in. She confirmed that I would be reimbursed.
After I checked out of the room, I sent her invoices for both the nights and she confirmed that Airbnb would be reimbursing me 1,713.80 Euros (the cost of the hotels for both the nights combined). She then gave me a call back after about 30 minutes and informed me that she, in fact, was not going to be able to fully reimburse me and stated that Airbnb had said that they would only reimburse me for the first night and not the second (which they did not). They then continued negotiating that they would only reimburse me 50% for the second night. When I questioned her about why this was never stated, she then went on to suddenly change that 50% and say that she would only be able to give us $200 for the second night.
After arguing with her for a while, because she had no knowledgeable answer or power, I asked to speak to a supervisor and was transferred over. The supervisor then went on to tell me that they were going to reimburse me $450 for the two nights; they suddenly changed their reimbursement for the second night from 100%, to 50%, to 200 Euros, to 250 Euros just because they didn’t expect the expense of booking a hotel last minute in the center of Paris during the high season. They now refuse to reimburse me for the expense of the hotel for the second day and are using a loophole of saying that they didn’t say the word “full” for the reimbursement. Everything is recorded on the call and they had confirmed the amount of 1,713.80 Euros they were going to refund as well.