Their trip turns into a nightmare: a homeless family in Barbados after being abandoned by Airbnb

A family from Montreal’s North Shore who became homeless in Barbados laments that Airbnb left them on their own without supporting them in their move.

• Also read: A family trip to the water due to a faulty sales site

“[Airbnb] You’ve left us in a country we don’t know,” says Audray Garneau for the short-term rental web platform.

On Dec. 31, Ms. Garneau landed at the airport in Bridgetown, the capital of this small Caribbean island, with her husband and two children, ages 6 and 8.

But the Airbnb host who came to meet them at the plane exit never showed up. The St. Eustache resident quickly contacted the site’s help desk.

An Airbnb employee later said she would try to contact other hosts to move her. However, a few minutes later, he announced that he was leaving work, unable to help them.

“He transferred everything to a colleague who should contact us as soon as possible. My colleague who never called us,” said the 32-year-old woman.

Announcement of where they will stay.

Photo courtesy of Audray Garneau

Announcement of where they will stay.

A race against time

At 19:00 everything was closed: shops, hotels, restaurants. And this is until January 3, due to the New Year festivities.

“We were lucky enough to move in with locals who kindly gave us their sofas,” he says.I Garneau.

The next day, still with no response from Airbnb, the family managed to reach an Airbnb host who miraculously managed to accommodate them. But the objects did not match the photos.

“It was very dirty, there were a lot of insects, we were an hour away from the nearest store, the water was undrinkable,” M.I Garneau added that he chose the location in part because the water there is normally potable.

“We called Airbnb back to ask them to help us move, find something else,” explains the school employee.

Finally, he is the wife of Mr.I Garneau, Yannick Pilon found a hotel room a little more suited to his needs for the rest of the trip.

There is no help

“We tried to call them, send messages to find help, a deal for everyone, MI Garneau. They didn’t even ask us to pay the price difference, they just asked us to move it to a reasonable place.”

After returning to Quebec, Mr. Pilon contacted Airbnb again to explain the situation and help them improve customer service, but to no avail.

“This was our first Airbnb experience, I don’t think we will ever do business with them again,” said Audray Garneau.

The apartment rented by MI Garneau is no longer on the Airbnb platform.

After the questions of the magazine, the rent is paid by the site

The Pilon-Garneau family was contacted weeks after receiving no definitive response from Airbnb, and the company has just been questioned. Newspaper To find an arrangement regarding this stay.

The short-term rental housing platform therefore refunded the extra amount the family had to pay to stay in the sole accommodation, which was more than $1,300.

The original Airbnb host was also penalized for canceling his reservation at the last minute. The fine can be up to $1,000.

Rare but harmful

“While host cancellations are rare, we recognize the impact they have on guest plans, which is why we’ve implemented fees and penalties to prevent them,” Airbnb spokesman Matt McNama said.

“It’s still sad that we had to get some attention from them,” said Audray Garneau.

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