Is money more important than customer’s safety to AirBnB?

I booked an apartment on Airbnb early in the day and had contacted the host to arrange a late check in for about 21:30 pm.

The host was not very attentive to the issue of a late check in and only at about 21:00 pm had returned to me, giving me instructions to go to another address, an address different from the one given on the automatic Airbnb booking confirmation, not simply to obtain a key, but to a completely different property.

a different (address) from the one given on the automatic Airbnb booking confirmation

This was obviously a major red flag and I’ve told the host that I will only go to the address listed in the original email from Airbnb. The host refused to allow me to go to the original address and insisted that I go to the new one. I told the host that as I do not feel safe to go to a different address, I am forced to go to a hotel and that I will contact Airbnb for a refund.

I told the host that as I do not feel safe to go to a different address

I then used a different app to book a hotel room and when in my room, contacted Airbnb to report them of this obvious red flag and serious security concern. Airbnb support replied that they will check the facts and will be in touch with me shortly.

this obvious red flag and serious security concern

8 hours later when I woke up there was no update from Airbnb so I had written them again. They got back to saying that the host has made a mistake, to which he admitted, and that “the first address that was sent to me was wrong” and that I should have simply trust him and go to the new address.

They ignored the fact that I’ve already had to pay for another night at a hotel, and the fact that the original address was sent automatically upon booking conformation, and that this whole affair is extremely suspect. I then also discovered that the host is located in Washington D.C, 3,662 miles away from London.

This did not matter to Airbnb, they insisted that I should go to the NEW address provided over Whatsapp and that nothing is this chain of events is a reason to worry about, which is of course completely unacceptable. In a time when online security and safety is mentioned constantly in the media, ignoring such a red flag as well as not compensating me for the lost night, and then forcing me to check into the apartment which is managed by a person 3.662 miles away, is out of the question.

I am now short of more than $1000 as the listing had a “moderate” cancellation policy and most of the cost paid towards the booking is lost.  I will never use Airbnb again and encourage everybody to use or other services which proved to handle issues much better.

Clearly Airbnb is not concerned about the safety of their customers but only about their bottom line.

D Berenson