Supposedly furnished studio was not furnished!

I had never used Airbnb before, but friends had said positive things about their experiences. I wanted a studio apartment, furnished, for a month in Strasbourg, France, while I house-hunted and decided on my future. I reserved a furnished studio. I knew the location. The host accepted the reservation, and Airbnb took my money.

The host then called me to say she wanted to cancel as there was no bed in the apartment (why didn’t she know this before?) – this was while I was on my way to meet her at the apartment to get the keys! I couldn’t afford to wait for a refund and pay another rental at the same time. In any case I had to stay three nights in a hotel while waiting for the bed, which the host then decided could not be delivered for another two weeks (I could have gone to IKEA and bought a sofa bed the same afternoon in her place). At this point she offered me a 200€ refund, which I accepted, being otherwise homeless and already having spent a bunch of money I hadn’t budgeted for.

The description said the place had basic kitchen items, but there was no plate, cup, saucepan, cutlery – nothing. I had to buy all that, as well as all the bed linen. Towels too. The shower curtain was filthy, the shower didn’t drain properly, and the paint was peeling off the bathroom walls. The mirror was broken. Later I realized there was no smoke alarm, illegal in France. People smoked cannabis in the lift, corridors and hallways.

The host insisted that on move-out day (today) I had to return the keys at 10 am. So I had to leave some bags in the hallway as I couldn’t move everything at once. She just shrugged. When I came back for my last bag (a small suitcase of clothes) it had been stolen. She of course was long gone by then. I had left the apartment cleaner than I found it.

This is 1a rue des Cigognes, Strasbourg, France.