Bait and Switch complaint

I’ve been a super host from the get-go and have lots of rave reviews; I usually book for a period of a week and longer. About 60 days ago I booked a stay for an elderly European couple in one of my apartments. I welcomed them personally yesterday and showed them around; hours after check-in, I received a message from one of their relatives indicating that the couple was happy with the place.
Early this morning I received a message from the same relative asking me to contact the guests. Once I contacted the guests I was told that the apartment that they had booked was not the same apartment that they were staying and that I had listed one apartment but had given them the key to another apartment. The guest told me that they wanted their money back or he would report me for posting one property and delivering another property.
Needless to say, I’m very upset at the “accusation” and can’t understand what happened – the photos in my listing (taken by an Airbnb photographer) clearly depict the property and the description of the listing is rich in details - I have no idea how the guests thought they were getting anything other than what I listed, and there is no way anything could have confused the guests.
I called Airbnb to alert them of the situation and now I’m waiting for resolution – based on your experience, what do you think will happen?

I don’t know but I’m anxious to find out the outcome. Do you list two identical or similar apartments? I wonder if this is part of new scam? And why are you having contact with some relative not on the booking?

@KKC, it crossed my mind that the guest, due to age and unfamiliarity with Airbnb, may have confused my two apartments in the same building; the two apartments are different but, as I mentioned in previous posts, one of them (the one booked by the European couple) gets twice as many views as the other…however, they are two different listings and I don’t see how the guest could have looked at the description of one property and booked another property…
The relative had contacted me in advance because she wanted to explain that the elderly relative would not have a phone connection when he arrived in the U.S. etc.

I would guess they would have to submit photos to show Airbnb that the place they are in doesn’t match the place they booked and they won’t be able to do that. Airbnb should be telling the guest “too bad” but they will probably be asking you for some sort of concession.

Perhaps the relative that booked for them, reserved the incorrect listing.

@Ritz3 it’s possible, but to accuse me of defrauding guests is a pretty serious thing…

If they are Airbnb verified photos its going to be hard for them to prove that unless they can show pictures that its substantially different in a bad way. You actually had a photographer there and I know they are very strict about no fish-eye lenses or photoshop that could make the place look different in a picture than in real life.

Go to the apartment, sit down with the guests, open your AirBnB account on your laptop, open your calendar, show them where their reservation is in your calendar, open the listing with the same name, show them the photos, where each photo was taken,… If necessary open your other listing and show them it’s different.

They will notice that it wasn’t your fault and this will end your ordeal.


I recently had AirBnB photos taken and put up for my property. As tempting as it looks I don’t want anyone thinking they are getting a villa overlooking the Aegean Sea. After looking at his previous work I asked the photographer to tone it down and not make it look like a Gold Coast apartment. He assured me they went for an honest warm look but really no one, not least me, has walls that white. Here is a link if you are interested.

Anyone familiar with real estate or interiors magazine photography knows the photos make the place look brighter and bigger than it really is. That’s why you pay them. But unlike AirBnB guests most people don’t buy real estate unless they have inspected it in person first. It is possible this is what they are referring to.

Now I am just waiting for a guest to complain they can’t see the Hanging Gardens of Babylon :wink:


While they could spot a fish eye lens there are other techniques architectural photographers use that make spaces look bigger which unless you see the original you won’t be able to tell. And you don’t need photoshop, just a filter, to make it look brighter.

You’re right. They were wrong to acuse you. I would let AirBnB know that perhaps their relative booked incorrectly.

@JamJerrupSunset Those pictures look great and I think they do your place justice. I understand you wanting to temper expectations but you have such a nice place in so many ways. I would definitely stay there if I were in the area.

I have some professionally done photos on my listing but they cost me nothing. A pro who has done Airbnb work stayed here and did them for me for free. I’ve like to get new ones as I’ve made some upgrades but it doesn’t seem worth paying for since I’m booked most the time anyway. I do have a professional photographer who stays several times a year and pays cash. Maybe I’ll ask her about a trade.

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@GutHend apparently, after the guest told me he felt I gave him the wrong place, he left the apartment; according to my Airbnb “case worker”, she unsuccessfully tried reaching his by phone and via the messaging platform and couldn’t connect with the guest. I never heard back from the guest and didn’t hear back from the local relative. This is so confusing…and upsetting…

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I once had an Italian guest, an older couple, who were quite adamant that they had rented an entire place and needed to use my kitchen. This is one of the reasons I’m very hesitant to call my small ensuite room an entire place. Despite showing him on the app that it just said private room and vacating my kitchen to allow him and his wife to use it and my dining room he still gave me 4 stars.

As an aside, I hardly ever have a foreign guest anymore. I don’t know if that’s the so called Trump effect or the more Americans using Airbnb now effect.

Not what I expected your place to look like at all!! You have been very dishonest on this forum, I think I will be reporting you to the moderators. You have always described your place as humble and basic when this is obviously not true -it’s gorgeous and large!! What a lovely place to stay.

On a side note I am surprised you could get an Airbnb photographer to come out there. Where did he come from?


If you think that then he was worth every cent! I only got a message from ABB saying there was a photographer who would come out this far a couple of months ago and it took 4 weeks to arrange and 4 weeks for the photos to go up. Before that there was nobody. Cost me $196 which came of the next payment. He was from Melbourne but I don’t have his details to hand. I’m guessing there are a few over the fashionable side of Westernport anyway.

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He is a hooligan and rascal, no doubt. :wink:


I presumed it was the free service. We pay for professional photography and use our own photographer. I did use the free service on my house and one of the places I manage years ago. I looked into it a year or so ago on what you call the fashionable side and was told it wasn’t available. Anyway I would rather have the $100 voucher for myself than give the free photography to one of the owners!

I was talking about your area with a friend yesterday who was considering buying down your way as it is so much cheaper and the beaches are lovely. If we end up down your way looking at some houses I’ll let you know and we can meet for coffee and share war stories.

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Apologies to Miss Miami for hijacking her thread. Oh, Airhosts forum members, why can’t we stay on topic?


Hi @MissMiami

Rather confused as to where the relative comes in and why they are phoning you rather than your guests.

This is not a third party booking is it?

In your situation I would use Airbnb messenger to calmly refute the allegation and refer them to the listing that they booked and ask them to look at the photos again and the description to reassure themselves that the place they booked is what they have.