I’VE CHECKED INTO MY AIRBNB AND THINGS AREN’T AS I EXPECTED—IT WAS A NIGHTMARE UNFOLDING BEFORE MY EYES, WHEN I SAW THE PLACE. 

Complaint to AIRBNB by Cynthia Lopez

I went to St Petersburg to rest and relax after the closure of the Pandemic. The pictures and description of the place I rented from Airbnb were inviting, “cozy living in this perfectly located 1 bedroom, 1 bath space” “it makes up for comfort and is in the best location on the beach! Providing a relaxing Florida beach vibe”.

When I arrived, I thought I was in the wrong place, definitely not “cozy” from the outside. The window awnings were ripped, the neighborhood was dirty, and it did not look secure. The property was located behind a building whose garbage was facing me at all times (the building had its back to us, the garbage cans of the building were in front of the unit that we rented). To get to the beach I had not only to walk past this building in front of us but also had to go across the main road. The rented apartment was dark, the walls were dirty, there was an inside door locked with a padlock (totally not cozy on the inside either), but worst of all, the stairs outside made noise every time people would go up and down the stairs. For the few minutes I was there checking the place, a gentleman went up and down the stairs at least twice, the noise he made was loud. It sounded as if the stairs were inside the rented property. This would not have led me to the peace that I came seeking. Noises like that don’t allow me to relax.

 The reason I did not document by taking pictures, was because I felt so insecure, that I decided not to stay in the apartment for a longer period of time. Anyhow, how do you take a picture of not being a safe neighborhood? Or of it being cozy or not cozy? or of it not being the best location on the beach?.

I left right away, there was no need for me to stay in the parking lot. At that point, I just wanted to get out of there. I called Airbnb to explain what was happening. I was on hold for more than two hours. After speaking to a rep, who transferred me to a supervisor, I was placed on hold for more time, and when they answered, the only thing they could tell me was that someone would call me back. At that time I contacted the owner of the place I rented through Airbnb. She did not cooperate much with me either, it was when I decided to stay at a hotel in the city.

 Since then I have tried to get a refund, which has been an uphill battle. Airbnb washes its hands of all liability, according to them the owner of the apartment is the one who decides whether to give a refund or not. I, the customer, have no rights. The last person who contacted me (July 27), was a  supervisor from the Airbnb support team named Kanica (response@airbnb.com). She told me that there was nothing to do. The owners refused to refund the $ of the rent since I did not take photos, my claims could not be proven. And I wonder, Airbnb represents people renting their places, but are not responsible when guests are deceived? Airbnb is not responsible for the operation?. I do not understand. The client, the one that rents the properties is not protected?. What happened to “customer’s satisfaction?. Is this the best answer you can give an unsatisfied customer?. As Kanica told me that Airbnb has nothing to do about the client not feeling safe. The best you can tell to an unsatisfied customer is, “there is nothing We can do about it”?. Kanika, would you take your family to a place where you didn’t feel safe?. Isn’t Airbnb responsible for making sure that they are offering a quality service?. Does Airbnb never check the places being offered on their web page?. Think a little bit, if I had been comfortable and everything had been as described online, I would have had no need to pay for a hotel when my Airbnb was paid in full.

Complaint to AIRBNB, address: 12971 Pelican Lane #2 MADEIRA BEACH, FL 33708