Airbnb Scammed me of ₹4,65,306!

When you want to go on holiday with family the last thing you’re thinking is you will be scammed. Everyone is excited. Plans have been made and you have paid the villa. When what you least expect happens, especially after your card has been debited of Rs. 4,65,306.00

I was scammed by Bethan and Claire of Bay Residence Koh Phangan on Airbnb. This is the type of thing you never think will happen to you – until it does.

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This couple have I’m sure scammed many people like this online. Their villa has no reviews which should have been a red flag for me but I was mesmerised by its beauty and I paid immediately. When you are making a booking on Airbnb the “available dates” are shown in Airbnb’s signature pink colour. If a villa is not available on a particular date they are marked in a depressing  grey. The villa was available so I booked from December 23, 2016 to January 3, 2017 and paid Rs. 4,65,306.00.

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I cancelled all my plans, made all arrangements and my family did the same. My flight booking were made for all my family members and the following day I received an email:

Date: 15 December 2016 at 11:37
Subject: Fwd: Reservation request at Bay Villa 5 Bedrooms – Ultimate for December 23, 2016 – January 3, 2017
From: Bethan (Airbnb) <express@airbnb.com>

Thank you for your enquiry for this month I am sorry to tell you that Ultimate Villa is not available for the duration of your stay.

However, we can certainly offer you our wonderful Villa alternatives which are located just within a stone’s throw, few minutes from Ultimate Villa that we can offer you over the course of your travel dates.

Villa JAH 18th – 28th December

Villa West View

29th December

Ultimate Villa 29th December – 3rd January

Please let me know if the above options are going to be suitable and have any questions at all ?

I look forward to your reply

Kind Regards

Claire”

I was infuriated because the alternative dates provided were absolutely ridiculous and the villas were not half as good as the one we had paid for.

We were looking for hotels for our family to stay in to celebrate the coming of 2017. We hadn’t ever tried Airbnb but because we had seen it advertised, we decided to give it a try. Now my money is stuck and my plans are dangling and my air tickets are booked. I have no idea what to do now? Can’t a big company like  Airbnb keep a check on such scamsters? It is extremely pitiable!

They attract you with wonderful looking pictures and after you have paid you learn that nothing is available. This is a big blunder Airbnb and you will need to fix it or people will lose all faith in you. BAN HOSTS LIKE: Bay Residence Koh Phangan.

I recently read about this other scam on Airbnb: http://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/beware-this-evil-genius-airbnb-scam_us_56a7bc08e4b0172c65944c92 😦 This has to stop!

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3 thoughts on “Airbnb Scammed me of ₹4,65,306!

  1. Though I would love to criticise Airbnb because I am a travel agent and they are a big competition to me but I am not taking sides but what you are missing here is that in case of booking which are not under the instant booking category (with a lightening icon ) Airbnb always charges the amount and keeps it on hold until the host confirms if his/her property is available on the requested dates. Once a refusal from host comes in then Airbnb or the host suggests alternate options and in case the guest doesn’t agree then a full refund is issued. You were not very wise in booking your air tickets without confirmation from the host. You should not use social media against any company without proper knowledge.

    Also please share the complete story , did you get your money back in full or not ?

    • There are many questions here, why were the dates showing as available if they were not available? Why did the host not object when we shared our plans and dates earlier? Why does the refund process take so long when the money hasn’t been credited to the host? Once I’ve booked my flights I can’t do anything. The host isn’t even offering me dates that I can use or villas with the same number of bedrooms. There are so many issues in this whole transaction, I can’t even begin to say!

  2. Well I have had bad experiences with AirBnB as well. Booked a place, the host doesn’t revert on time, and then he starts talking to us (over messages) and finally, just randomly, says the place isn’t available. Left me looking frantically for another place last minute,. Another place listed as a home was actually a hotel. I now always prefer to find a place, call them, speak to them and confirm a booking on phone and email, the traditional way.

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