Families say vacations were canceled to charge new tenants more – WFTV

KISSIMMEE, Fla .– Three families say the nation’s first roommate company canceled reservations in Orlando so landlords can bill new tenants thousands more.

Deena Davidovics and her family are planning a vacation to Central Florida. Then they felt double because the house was double booked.

“I always hoped this would never happen to us,” Davidovics said.

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Two months ago, she booked a house in Kissimmee on Airbnb and paid $ 6,100 in rent. Barely 3 weeks before the trip, their reservation was canceled without explanation. Davidovics was suspicious.

“When they saw that they could get double the money for the same house, they canceled our reservation,” she said.

Later, a friend found out that the same house the same week had been rented for $ 10,000.

Davidovics got all his money back, but it was far too late to book similar homes.

“The host actually stopped answering our messages, blocked our calls,” Davidovics said.

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Airbnb is ranked F on the Better Business Bureau and told the agency it couldn’t respond to complaints due to mass layoffs.

Two other families contacted Action 9 with similar stories.

“I am really disappointed with Airbnb for not protecting its customers,” said Aaron Goukhman.

He booked a house in Kissimmee in January and paid $ 4,600. Her reservation was canceled and the host blamed a water leak. But Goukhman’s friends have found tenants in the house and he suspects that they have paid much higher rent.

“Three days before the trip, did they cancel your house?” Asked Todd Ulrich.

“Yes, they did,” replied Goukhman.

Davidovics says a real estate agent who works at Hunters Creek was responsible for booking their reservation which was then canceled.

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Ulrich went to this office for answers and a manager later told him that real estate agent Jason Ding was not allowed to rent vacation homes.

Over the phone, Ding told Ulrich that Airbnb allows booking cancellations for higher rents and that he hasn’t done anything wrong.

Airbnb told Action 9 that it is reviewing complaints, the company has strict rules to prevent these situations, and violations by the host could result in suspension or removal from the site.

“I asked that they at least do something to fix this for our family,” Davidovics said.

Airbnb customers say they were offered 10% off, but still couldn’t book the same size home at the same price, and never got back vacations that were canceled.

Airbnb response:

We know how frustrating last minute cancellations can be for guests, and we have strict rules in place that hosts must follow if they wish to continue using our platform. If a host’s cancellation does not comply with our policies, their schedule is automatically blocked for those days, we notify them that repeated cancellations may result in their account being suspended or deleted. To help customers whose hosts have canceled their reservations, we refund the cost of the reservation, and our community support team is available 24/7 to help them book new accommodation.

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