Disastrous holiday with appalling customer service. Never will I exploit Airbnb once more.
Over two months ago we came upon my companion was pregnant. We determined that earlier than the child arrived we needed a soothing and peaceable break the place we might quietly have fun the information together with her mother and father. We set about looking for someplace appropriate. We are both experienced travellers everywhere in the world and glad climbing and camping but obviously this time with my associate being pregnant and her aged mother and father coming along we didn’t need something too primary.
We settled on the thought of a close-by island of Fuerteventura within the Canary Islands which is owned by Spain. It is frequented by hundreds of thousands of European vacationers per yr and nicely developed so it ought to have been an easy journey.
After much analysis I finally found the right place on Airbnb situated in a nature reserve within the north of the island. The description stated “ideal for those who choose tranquility” and “for those who want to live in contact with nature while enjoying the sport and what seas of tranquility offer.”
Again, as my companion is pregnant, we didn’t want anything too primary and this was the right fit: TV, iron, laptop-friendly workspace, and so forth. We even acquired an extra reminder that this was considered one of a “few places in the area where breakfast would be included!”
It was advertised at 50 euros an evening but slightly less on the nights we have been on the lookout for. I naively was only barely cautious once I noticed it just had one evaluate nevertheless it was a brand new place that had very lately opened and it was absolutely glowing: “The garden gives great spaces for the eyes. A feeling of great freedom, openness, connection with the authentic nature of Fuerteventura… great pleasure staying in the house… contemplate the beauty of what surrounds you.”
It went on and on with absolute rave critiques. This visitor clearly thought this was the perfect, most lovely place she had ever stayed so certainly we within the very worst case weren’t going to dislike it. We booked 4 nights and have been very excited about it. How incorrect we have been.
The trip started out nicely with good communication from the host who by a wierd coincidence turned out to be Italian identical to the solitary reviewer. Well mannered, fast to reply and can be assembly us at the property on the examine in time. After an extended day of travelling, by late night we drove into the character reserve; the evaluations have been right, it was lovely.
I continued to comply with my GPS across a mud monitor in the direction of our peaceable remoted house. Upon the horizon a gaggle of buildings started to seem. As we acquired nearer we realised that these buildings have been in truth product of pallets and numerous different discarded supplies and have been surrounded by garbage. This was a medium sized chabola illegal house, referred to as slums or favela in different elements of the world.
We’ve got seen many of these on our travels via Asia and Africa. Important and unavoidable in many creating nations however uncommon to seek out in the midst of a nature reserve. It was with absolute disbelief once I saw the GPS was taking me right into the center of it.
Nevertheless, there was no GPS mistake once I pulled up outdoors a somewhat recognisable house and was met by a smiling host and a stray pit bull. We have been shortly ushered into the house which in equity wasn’t too totally different from what we have been expecting; the inside matches the pictures that have been displayed. We had studied the pictures on the web site so we knew the essential type and format.
What wasn’t obvious from the photographs was the horrible odor and that it was that it was a completely open plan including the toilet and toilet which was adjoining the living room. My companion began to panic about having to ask everybody to go away the home any time she needed the toilet (which is usually during being pregnant).
It was then the other circumstances started to be defined. First, there was no water important; it got here from an outdoor container which could be very limited so ‘use the toilet at least four times before flushing it’ as it’ll run out. Second, no electrical energy. We have been taken again outdoors by means of a broken rusted door that was falling down and needed to be tied on by rope. There we discovered an previous generator and a few jerrycans.
Our host politely explained the quirks of find out how to start this specific previous generator. He also defined that it will last about 5 hours, then I needed to drive to a close-by petrol station (about 30 minutes), buy enough petrol to fill a jerrycan, after which refill the generator with a half water bottle scattered across the flooring that might be used as a funnel.
Whereas I was making an attempt to work out why I was having to pay for the petrol or the logistics having to refill one thing each 5 hours night time and day simply to have a fridge working or the lights on I turned aware that it wouldn’t actually be an issue as there was no means we have been going to be able to stand the ridiculous noise of the generator for longer than 5 minutes, let alone 5 hours. Once began we couldn’t be heard excessive of it and even in the home it was loud sufficient to feel such as you have been in the midst of a development website. Tranquil it most definitely was not.
The tour of the surface didn’t get any higher. Past the pizza oven – which was being used as a bin – around to the aspect of the house which wasn’t shown in the footage we found a pile of broken furnishings leaning up towards the home (sofa, plastic desk and a toilet sink, indoor eating room chairs) and then simply past that a dumpsite. All manner of damaged things and building rubble which I imagine was the earlier interior of the house had been piled up and left.
Was this the “authentic nature of Fuerteventura”? It was definitely true that in surprised silence we have been ‘contemplating’ the ‘beauty’ that surrounded us. In fact at this moment the host appeared so embarrassed by the place and keen to move us away from the garbage that we didn’t actually query it a lot, he simply stored repeating that he wasn’t the owner, simply the host.
As soon as the host had left and the pit bull had chased his automotive out via the chabola we had time to mirror upon what we have been about to remain in. Luckily my companion’s mother and father weren’t on account of arrive till the subsequent day. I sat down on the sofa and rechecked the advert on Airbnb to see I had made no mistake. I had not.
It was clear that the accommodation no approach matched what they have been advertising from the necessary issues like clear and with electrical energy and water to the less very important things like the breakfast that was most definitely not going to be offered. While considering the way to explain the state of affairs to her mother and father I seemed down to seek out my footwear and legs cover in flees, and I do imply coated.
At that time my associate decided she would do the remainder of her contemplating within the automotive. She rushed outdoors to find a native resident and very suspicious wanting character peering into the again of automotive which was still loaded with all our holiday gear. Once I requested who he was he merely commented that he was the cousin of the owner and continued to stroll around the property at his own leisurely tempo.
This was now a step too far, it had gone from being a somewhat comical, farcical state of affairs to truly feeling fairly unsafe. While the nature reserve is definitely ‘isolated’, the home being within the centre of the chabola most definitely was not. It might be the world is sort of protected and the ‘cousin’ was just coming to be friendly however this definitely wasn’t the kind of holiday that had been bought to us and we weren’t prepared to remain and find out.
I stayed simply lengthy sufficient to take some pictures and then drove away to attempt to work out what to do subsequent. I referred to as the host to tell him we wouldn’t be staying even a night and by his tone he had been ready for that telephone call. He stated not a problem at all and even prevented an embarrassing state of affairs by not asking us for the reasons. He just reminded us once more that he was not the owner which I understood to suggest that even he wouldn’t need to stay there. I asked a few refund and he stated he hadn’t acquired any cash and it might all be returned by Airbnb.
At this point it was eight:00 PM and with little or no cellular battery left we have been making an attempt to navigate the nightmare Airbnb customer help website and search for someplace to stay. I ultimately discovered the help contact and emailed explaining the state of affairs. On that evening I acquired absolutely no reply at all and we have been in a determined sprint to seek out something, anything protected that we might keep in that night time.
By 10:00 PM we have been fortunate sufficient to discover a very accommodating host who replied pretty much instantly to our messages and let us stay. Before I might e-book the new place my only choice was to ‘cancel the reservation’ of the previous which seemed to suggest it was not directly our fault and subsequently we have been penalized in that they stored a lot of the money. Only 66 euros have been returned to us.
While the brand new accommodation was wonderful, an incredible host who had offered an trustworthy and truthful advert, it was a costlier flat, just for two individuals and in a crowded vacationer resort. Under no circumstances the holiday we have been in search of. It additionally meant that there was no area for my in laws and with all the uncertainty they decided to cancel their flight and not come at all.
I’ve hooked up a link to point out just how poor the help was once they ultimately replied as my words couldn’t actually do it justice. For sure we ended up paying for 2 accommodations (minus 66 euros). I wrote at size and despatched plenty of footage as evidence however Airbnb seemed completely uninterested, delivering superficial responses.
It was only after 5 days with someday left in our holiday that I was passed to a specialist who requested if he might help e-book us into accommodation. I assume he imagined we had been sleeping on the streets for the previous four nights. When it was apparent that he wasn’t properly studying my replies or making an attempt to know the state of affairs his response of ‘I have a lot of cases needed to be assisted as well’ was infuriating. A specific favourite phrase that he wrote after admitting it was a number violation was ‘just to set your expectation we will do our best in order to meet the proper standard but we cannot guarantee this hundred percent to provide the expected outcome’ (sic).
It has now been almost every week and Airbnb has simply stopped replying to my messages. Final I heard I used to be eligible for a refund however that has by no means arrived and they’re merely ignoring all my makes an attempt at communication. Whereas we are both safely house and we will look again on a spoilt holiday somewhat fatalistically as I defined to customer help it is the safety of others that is most concerning. Individuals guide with them anticipating a certain degree of security, their entire model is predicated round that. If not we’d as properly simply arrive in a place and knock on any previous door and ask to remain.
A present look on their website exhibits that this accommodation continues to be being marketed in exactly the same method. My prolonged evaluation has not been revealed, nonetheless only the original poster, so they’ll have individuals booking it anticipating what we expected. I discover it worryingly immoral that Airbnb is constant to advertise it in the identical approach. At greatest they are going to be spoiling individuals’s holidays and costing them cash. At worst… properly, it doesn’t bear fascinated with. Right here is the link to the place. Check it out in full right here.
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