Australian doctor Sara Marzouk slams Airbnb

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Australian doctor Sara Marzouk slams Airbnb

An Australian doctor was so shocked by her recent Airbnb experience that she felt the need to call them out publicly over the whole horrible incident

Melbourne based Sara Marzouk, who has 84,000 followers on Facebook, said she had booked an apartment through the platform when the host later asked her for extra payment, which she refused.

“The host promptly contacted me and requested an off-site booking payment for taxes already covered in the booking, which is strictly against the terms and conditions of the site,” she said.

“When I informed the host that I had already paid the fees he was (illegally) requesting, he promptly ghosted me and has refused to communicate further.”

She said that looking back, there were some red flags about the property.

“In hindsight, if a property looks to good to be true, is being posted by a new host, and despite months of ‘apparent bookings’ has lots of cancellations and still has zero reviews, then this is a pretty big.”

What made matters even worse about the situation was the Airbnb’s service staff’s response when she contacted them about the issue.

“Like any responsible user I contacted Airbnb to inform them that the host had requested money off the platform and had subsequently failed to communicate in the two months since I had told him I wouldn’t pay it.

“The Airbnb Support, Dennis, assured me that despite the host having 19 violations listed on their profile, that they aren’t concerned regarding the host.

“It’s not often that I am shocked by lack of professionalism by customer service staff, but I’m so gobsmacked by his next response that I feel I need to call out the platform publicly.”

She also shared screenshots of messages showing conversations with support staff. In one message she says: “Never heard back since September. So, once again, those 19 violations ring alarm bells for me. It would be easy for me to cancel but are you going to allow this listing to bait others?”

To which the Airbnb support allegedly responded: “Yes I will.”

She then said: “Wow. What a truly appalling response. I will be escalating this with your superiors. I’ve screenshot the entire thread to show how Airbnb doesn’t care about addressing the concerns of clients who are being contacted outside the platform for money are who are being ghosted.”

Airbnb allegedly replied: “Yes please. It’s your decision.”

Dr Marzouk said it was the last straw and she will no longer use Airbnb.

“There is a reason why Airbnb is haemorrhaging users,” she said. “Apart from the outrageous cleaning fees users have to pay when they basically do most of the post-stay cleaning themselves, apart from the multitude of service fees and occupancy taxes and late check-in fees and baggage storage fees … the platform genuinely doesn’t care about the average user.

“As I said, there is a reason why Airbnb is haemorrhaging users. And I’m now one of them.”

Her story prompted others to share their dismay, and their experiences too.

One person wrote: “Blooming scammers everywhere and that’s atrocious that Airbnb isn’t doing anything!”

While another said: “Yes I agree. No more Airbnb for me after a dreadful experience with a couple of bookings.”

And a third was shocked: “This is disgusting disregard for customer service and security! I will not use them, plenary of other avenues!”

A fourth commented: “Somehow that adds up, since Covid I have done a few trips and I was able to find cheaper, closer hotels to the action without cancellation fee, while the Airbnbs’s were all more expensive with high cancellation fees or take your whole payment and given Covid this past year, thought that was just to risky. So given your experience … think I’m with you and going to give them a miss!”

Another revealed they had suffered losses: “Same. Will never use them again after loosing $800 for a booking we couldn’t use due to Covid lockdowns. Host wouldn’t refund and Airbnb took $200 for nothing. Similar thing happened to a friend, only it was $1000.”

News.com.au has contacted Airbnb for comment.

Read related topics:AirBnB

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