A FAMILY of 12 booked a holiday house for a wedding trip – but were left stranded "on the side of the road" after a shocking discovery when they arrived.

Listing photos showed a plush villa set round a palm-fringed swimming pool in Byron Bay, Australia.



Instead they found a building site, with renovations under way in the "shell of a house".

Viral videos show rooms stripped bare with no flooring and a cooker on the veranda waiting to be installed in the empty kitchen.

They immediately called Airbnb – which boasts its "community support team" is "on hand 24/7 to help".

But TikToker Renee, who posted the vids online, fumed: “When they rang you for help you accused them of lying, wouldn’t help find somewhere else to stay and wouldn’t provide them a refund.

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“You left 12 people and three kids under three literally standing on the side of the road.”

Renee said her sister and 11 other relatives travelled to Byron Bay for a wedding and paid in advance to rent the house for a week.

They were left frantically trying to find somewhere else to stay at the last minute.

Days later, an Airbnb supervisor offered them a 30 per cent refund on three of the seven days they had paid for, a screenshot shows.

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Renee said: "Will NEVER use them again. Makes absolutely no sense.

"Family had to spend nearly double the original booking to get a last minute booking at one of the only vacant places left."

She said “the lack of response” from Airbnb “made it much worse”.

And she added: “The landlord in this case is the one in the wrong.

“We just wanted Airbnb to respond fairly to refund and apologise.

“We will never book through them again. We understand mistakes happen but their response has been AWFUL and lacking any compassion.”

A follow-up post reveals Airbnb later agreed to give them a full refund – after the first videos were seen more than half a million times.

A member of the "escalations team" wrote: “After careful consideration and given the circumstances, I will go ahead and process the remaining reimbursement for your alternative reservation.”

Renee said it was only the power of social media that prompted the US giant to resolve the complaint.

“It’s insane it takes social media for a company to do the bare minimum,” she said on TikTok.

Airbnb said: “We were disappointed to learn about this experience, and fully refunded the guest and provided rebooking assistance.

“We have taken appropriate action on the Host while we investigate further, and reached out to the guest to provide further support.

“In the rare event something isn't as expected on arrival for a stay, our Community Support team is on hand 24/7 to help.

“Our team is very much focused on ensuring each stay is a positive experience for guests, Hosts and the wider community.

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“That’s why this year we introduced AirCover for guests, the most comprehensive protection in travel, included for free with every stay.

“AirCover is designed directly into the Airbnb app and website, allowing guests to contact an agent and raise issues for our team to investigate.”




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