The true & full story is honestly so long, frustrating, and inhumane so I’ll try to stick to only the major details:
– Did my research ahead of time and booked a listing one month in advance, for a total of 7 consecutive nights. The price of the listing was $348.19
– Host had illegal listing in an apartment complex that expressly forbids AirBnB rentals; hence the check-in process was secretive and belabored. In fact, she was not present initially at the check-in, so she sent her husband to meet us, which delayed us for another hour.
– Host did not have basic amenities such as WiFi, soap (in the bathroom), or adequate sleeping arrangements, despite stating all of those above in the actual listing itself. The host literally misrepresented what her place contained. (For example, the place was advertised to host up to 3 people, yet there was only one convertible futon in the entire apartment. The place was otherwise completely barren)
– Host was threatening to my friend and touched my personal belongings without my permission
– Host had their own puppy locked up in the private room, just so the dog would not interfere with their AirBnB side hustle. Though this did not affect us personally, we were mortified at their animal abuse.
– Tried to resolve situation via AirBnB customer service — for example, if I could be placed at another AirBnB, or somehow compensated even for just one night so we could get our bearings together, buy some time to look for somewhere else to stay, etc. Initially I was heard out by a representative named Francis. He had to leave for the end of his shift, so service was taken over by a representative named Matt.
– Host feared retribution from us in the form of a negative review, made some backdoor arrangement with Matt, which I was not aware of. Immediately, I receive a phone call from Matt.
– It turns out Matt canceled the listing on our behalf, posing as us, so the host would not have to suffer any penalty for canceling as a host. Without our consent, or informing us of our options, he left us with no choice, and no actual lodging. Perhaps I was naive, but before this backdoor deal was made, I thought the host and us were actually moving towards a resolution ourselves.
– Although the unit was far from what we had hoped, having a roof over our head was certainly better than none, and there was no way booking a 7-night stay anywhere else so last minute would be economical
– Matt spent an hour berating me for expecting amenities such as WiFi, and even made fun of my friend for freaking out because she was worried she lost track of me in the rain. This was around 10PM in the evening, due to the lateness of the check-in to begin with.
– Matt said we should be grateful we were able to get a full refund from the host, because a cancellation this late in the game was “non-refundable”. Matt also said there were plenty of other AirBnB listings that can satisfy our needs. This was expressly false; he sent us 2 links to “help” us, which consisted of a listing not even in the same city, and another one that did not become available until Sept 2019. Without having to search for AirBnB listings, we knew this was false, just from common sense. Who would be available the very night-of, for 7 consecutive nights afterwards?
– We desperately booked a 7-night stay at another non-AirBnB hotel to the tune of $857.22
– Another case manager named Chris took over my case. He explained that Matt actually should have given us some sort of AirBnB credit for relocation of 1 night (which is what I expected, and what made sense to me), and that he should not have cancelled on our behalf and lied to us about the host canceling. Chris explained that Matt did all this to prevent conflict, but his actions were not in-line with typical AirBnB protocol
– He initially offered me $100 in credit for any future AirBnB stays; when I refused, he said he would “ask his lead” and the offer is now up to $200. Chris claims this is the maximum allotted amount that AirBnB can give as compensation.
What would you like the company to do to fix the problem? (optional)
I simply want the company to refund me the difference in what I would’ve paid ($348.19) and what I ended up paying ($857.22), which is $509.03. I would accept a check, electronic payment via PayPal, or even AirBnB credit! That last one is huge, considering AirBnB credit is not nearly as valuable as actual cash in hand. I think it’s not a huge stretch to go from the supposed $200 “maximum” to what I’m rightfully owed — about $500.
The fact that I had to pay that amount was directly due to the actions of Matt; I am certain if he actually did his job properly as a case manager, we wouldn’t be out so much money. We would have happily accepted AirBnB compensation for one night (as is actual AirBnB policy/protocol), but we were not informed of our rights. By the time we checked into another hotel it was too late. Chris did not even tell us about this protocol until after our hotel stay was over!