Shiny apartment from turned out to be a squalid loft | consumer affairs

Last month we booked an apartment in London via The photos showed a spacious, bright and modern apartment. When we arrived we were put in a dirty, cramped and dangerous loft. The person who opened the door quickly left before we could look around. We then discovered that the fire alarms had been ripped from the ceiling, none of the windows could be secured and were at a height for our two year old to open them. The front door wouldn’t lock, the chain had been removed and the door code we were given to enter the block didn’t work.

We contacted the host, who claimed he didn’t know why the photos showed a different location, and completely ignored our concerns. said it couldn’t help with alternative accommodations or refunds, and could only raise issues with the host. Eventually we found a different apartment ourselves and I then provided with photos of the property, but received no response.

The host then flagged us as a “no show”, meaning they were able to keep the rent we had paid and we were prohibited from leaving a review. Once again I contacted to resolve this issue and again I haven’t heard from them. It’s ridiculous that they’re supposed to be the number one website for booking accommodation, but they don’t offer any protection if something goes wrong.
AD, Peterborough is a convenient service when hosts play by the rules. But if an owner pulls a quick one, you can be left out. Unlike AirBnb, does not have a formal booking protection policy. He simply suggests that dissatisfied customers contact his help desk, who can negotiate with landlords on their behalf and who, in your case, kindly told you they couldn’t help.

The platform’s terms and conditions emphasize that a guest’s contract is with the host and they cannot be held responsible for any listing breaches. However, he can and should be held responsible for disastrous customer service.

Although he received your detailed complaint, he accepted the host’s claim that you never showed up and closed your case. says it offered to help find alternative rooms, but by then you had already found somewhere. He tells me, “We take any complaints seriously and apologize for the property incorrectly marking the guest as a ‘no-show’, which we are dealing with the owner of the accommodation. Our health and safety team are also investigating to ensure everything is in order, and we will fully refund the customer for any inconvenience they have experienced.

The email informing you of the refund blamed you for having left a non-refundable property and thus complicating his “negotiations” with the owner. The fact is, if you hadn’t approached the media, your complaint would likely be rotting on a back office hard drive. Whether or not a health and safety team was sent to the apartment, it now appears to have been removed from the website.

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