A family on vacation finds the Airbnb rental unavailable, listed by someone who did not own it
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – It’s officially summer and many families are heading to Virginia Beach for some fun in the sun.
However, a family’s vacation from Missouri did not go as planned. They said the beach rental they booked through Airbnb was not actually available.
The family said they only drove 3 hours to find the vacation rental was listed by an Airbnb host who did not actually own the home. The company said this was a rare event and the host has been removed from the platform.
“It was like, ‘Is this really going on?'” Said vacationer Missy Bersing.
A few weeks ago, the family booked a week-long stay at a vacation home in Sandbridge through Airbnb. As suggested by the company, Bersing said she communicated via Airbnb with someone claiming to be the host’s personal assistant prior to the trip.
“What attracted me was that he went into such detail, ‘Are you going to bring animals? “How many children?” “, did she say
Bersing said they were told they could check in earlier, but a cleaning crew was at home when they arrived. They returned a few hours later, but this time the door code they were given didn’t work.
Bersing called and texted the host, but she said they never answered or called back.
“I called the sign on the house where it was written Sandbridge Realty and they were very nice, but they assured me it was not rented by Airbnb,” she said. “It was just such a disappointment.”
Bersing immediately contacted Airbnb and the local hotels, but nothing was available for their party of 16.
“We ended up leaving and started heading back to St. Louis,” Bersing said. “I don’t understand Airbnb enough to understand how they can let someone list something when they don’t own it.”
Airbnb sent a statement, saying: “We are disappointed to hear that Ms. Bersing and her family’s travel has been disrupted, and we are giving them our full support, including a refund for this experience. These cases are rare, but when they do occur, our Community Support team works hard to make things right. We have removed this host from our platform.
Airbnb said its community standards policy “prohibits the use of someone’s property without their permission.” He also said that, in accordance with its refund policy, the company will help customers re-book “if they arrive at a different listing than advertised” or provide a full refund. Airbnb also has a host verification process listed on their website.
“Airbnb hosts do not receive payment for travel until 24 hours after successful check-in of their guests, which helps to discourage this type of behavior,” the company said in the statement. “To this end, we can confirm that the host here has not taken advantage of or been paid with this booking.
Yet a headline analysis reveals that a certain percentage of travelers fall victim to fake vacation rental listings each year. The Better Business Bureau suggests examining the images on the property to confirm they are authentic, staying in communication with your host to establish that they are professional and attentive, and beware of last minute changes that could reveal that something is wrong.
Despite the experience, Bersing said he was not excluded from returning to the region.
“We would love to go back and book through Sandbridge and stay there,” she said.