Two Airbnb Scams in Dominican Republic

I traveled to Punta Cana in 2017 with a friend and we planned on spending the summer there. We found a two-bed, two-bath apartment a block off the beach. The pictures looked greats and the host was very pleasant on the phone. The listing stated that the apartment was fully furnished and that all utilities were included. The listing also stated that there was a full washer and dryer.

When we arrived, we noticed immediately that there was no washer or dryer. Additionally, the host showed up and told us that we had to pay for the electricity ourselves. We argued and protested but the host would not budge.

We called Airbnb and dealt with their useless customer service for over a week. The electricity was literally on a prepaid meter, and we had to constantly recharge the service every week to the tune of $50-$75. Airbnb did absolutely nothing to help us other than offer a refund.

When we threatened the host that we would dispute the charges for our stay unless he offered us compensation for the blatant misrepresentation of the unit and breach of contract, the host decided to reduce our monthly rent by $250 a month. On our second month we literally left the keys on the table and walked out. A miserable experience from both Airbnb and the lying host.

A few days later, we rented another unit in Santo Domingo. This was a two floor penthouse that was supposed to be fully furnished with furniture and appliances. In this case, the host made it clear that the electricity was not included. Upon arrival, it was the same scam situation we dealt with in Punta Cana. The apartment did not have a dryer and the bedrooms did not even have cabinets/drawers to store our belongings. One of the bathroom showers did not even have a partition/door on the shower.

We confronted the host, who was yet another typical money grubber out to fleece a few tourists. We got on the phone again with Airbnb and dealt with their worthless customer service department. Airbnb once again told us we could pack up and find another place to go, having the audacity to offer us a measly $100 for the inconvenience.

After a week of battling it out with the host a few of the problems were fixed. The host of this apartment wasn’t even the owner, but instead a property manager working for the owner who ran his own separate company called Dominican Vacation Rental SRL.

Airbnb is absolute s$#t unless you are renting from a Superhost. The site is rank with scammers and liars alongside properties that are not as described. Airbnb offers practically no resolution, no compensation, and is an absolute nightmare to deal with. Spend more and stay at a hotel.

Posted in Airbnb Guest Stories and tagged , , , , , .


  1. Worst happened to me yesterday in Cocotal punta cana. A Xue Cao through Airbnb took our money on the 15th of December when we arrived she said she had sold the apartment a year ago, although the day before Airbnb had sent going in the residential instructions. After traveling to the country we find ourselves without the facilities we paid for and Airbnb only offers a refund and hugely more expensive alternatives. Airbnb has zero credibility with us.

  2. I am going through the same thing in Santo Domingo. Once the hosts have your money they get a kick out of bulling you and laughing in your face. The AirBNB support team is equally condescending and will not return my money. I submitted several photos of mold damage , filthy washing machine, ants crawling in and out , no screen in the window. ( I was bit up by bugs) , trash everywhere at the garbage site and up on the balcony. We should start a lawsuit and sue them.

  3. Some people have difficulty with reading comprehension, it seems.

    The listing mentioned a washer and dryer, and that utilities were included.

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