What Airbnb did:
Upon arrival to SXM airport on Thursday 8/5/21, my host (Gregory) met my group for pickup and explained he had “a situation.” He went on to explain that a pipe burst in the condo I booked and would not be inhabitable for our stay. I just landed in a foreign country, had very spotty cell service, and no place to stay. Naturally, panic began to set in. Gregory told us there were (3) options of other rentals that I was unclear whether he owned. Unable to search for other options or contact Airbnb at that time, I picked the least raggedy and closest in proximity to the AirBnb we were promised. When we got to the new rental, I was very disappointed. It did not have a private pool like what I booked, it was not updated and it was not in the same vicinity. The rental was not clean upon arrival (resulting in an hour wait to get into the room). When I was able to connect to WiFi, I reached out to AirBnb to explain the circumstances and figure out my options. I could not get through via phone and kept getting an automated response on the app’s messaging system.
With no other options, we stayed, reluctantly and frustrated. During the stay we experienced many issues including a roach in the bathroom, nonfunctional TV, and clogged/foul smelling drains. Because of the location change, I also ended up spending a lot more than I intended on taxis and had to adjust my plans on most days. When I asked the “host” about the pricing adjustment, he claimed the new rental was the same price as the one we booked – my entire group knew that wasn’t true. When I was finally able to access reliable internet, I looked up the cost of the (new) stay and found it was nearly $600 cheaper than what I paid, if it were booked the day of, so I can only assume it would’ve been even cheaper if booked in advance when I booked the original Airbnb. Our host did not own the rental we got stuck with, but apparently lived in the same compound so must have known the owners. Upon return and discussing this issue with others, I believe this is a common AirBnb scam where the hosts get you to book a very nice property they do not own, then tell you it is unavailable when you arrive to the island, placing you elsewhere and keeping the money.
I wrote to AirBnb again when I returned from vacation on 8/10, seeking the difference in costs ($1,874.32 [what I paid/booked] – $1287.91 [new unit]) of $586.41 as well as compensation for the epic inconvenience of arriving on vacation expecting one thing, and getting something entirely different. We paid in excess of $300 additional in taxis and other plan change fees.
Since writing my review of the “stay,” my AirBnb host has been harassing me on What’s App, asking me to change the review and saying we should be thankful he “found” a place for us to stay. He then messaged me saying he is disappointed that I am seeking a refund (I guess after Airbnb reached out to him).
I saved screenshots of my initial correspondence to Airbnb on 8/5 when I arrived on the island, the pricing difference of the units, and the harassing messaging from my host. I’ve tried to share all of this with Airbnb. They said they can’t do anything because we stayed in the unit and did not contact them sooner (I did). They refuse to respond now. This is unacceptable and ridiculous.
What would you like the company to do to fix the problem?
A refund for the difference of the stays, the inconvenience, the harassment from the host, poor customer service, and additional costs incurred as a result of the change in stay. I would also like this host to be investigated and removed from the app for fraudulent listings and harassing guests.
How would you rate your experience with Airbnb?
⭐️ (1/5 stars)
Submitted by: Anonymous in New Jersey | Read more Airbnb complaints
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