Update by user Sep 13, 2016
I am unable to get the website to accept the images of the communications from Mr. Amin and Airbnb referred to in my earlier update. If an administrator will contact me to help, I will try to do so as soon as possible.
Update by user Sep 13, 2016
As indicated by comment by Mr. Amin and the note from Airbnb, the situation remains unresolved.
Attached are images of messages I received from Facebook and Mr. Amin acknowledging that my offer was to reserve the home for a party of five. I continue to believe that it is clear that Mr. Amin never accepted this offer, so that no contract was ever formed, and the proper resolution is for us to part company, having failed to agree, with our funds being returned to us.
My credit card company advises that Airbnb insists that I cancelled and that they are unable to do anything further, while Airbnb says they cannot consider a refund because I have disputed the charge.
I am hopeful that they will again review and reconsider. Until then, our advice remains the same: We are continuing to pursue our remedies but our advice to others remains as originally posted -- do not use Airbnb, if you do, do not use their instant booking option, and do not do business with Mr.Amin.
Update by user Aug 30, 2016
Airbnb continues to deny a refund and claim, unreasonably, that I entered into an enforceable contract to rent Mr. Amin's four-bedroom home by myself, rather than for a party of five as made clear in a communication that he acknowledged, and in which he indicated that he did not want to rent to us because we were travelling with a dog.
His subsequent reversal purporting to "accept" my "offer" to rent for one person and a dog (and threatening to call the police if I appeared with any other person) was clearly undertaken solely for the purpose of allowing him to keep nearly $1,300 of the money we had deposited in good faith.
We are continuing to pursue our remedies but our advice to others remains as originally posted -- do not use airbnb, if you do, do not use their instant booking option, and do not do business with Mr. Amin.
Original review posted by user Aug 14, 2016
AIRBNB SCAM WARNING. Do not use airbnb. If you do, do not use the instant booking feature on airbnb, do not book with hosts who have a "strict cancellation" policy, and do not book with "David Amin" in Santa Monica ("5 stars 4 Beds 2 Bath & A WHOLE BUNCH OF FUN") -- he is a ripoff artist whom airbnb allows to use their system to defraud customers.
Last month, my wife and I, retirees on a fixed income now living abroad, attempted to reserve an airbnb home in Santa Monica, California for ourselves and three friends for five nights as an alternative to staying in a hotel while in Los Angeles for our bon voyage party. Because we were making the booking on short notice we used the airbnb website's instant booking feature, effectively paying the entire $2,000 plus asking price for the home up-front. We had specified "pet friendly" as a required amenity because we were travelling with our dog (a well-behaved 10 lb Chihuahua mix), and sent a message to the owner, "David Amin," via the airbnb site shortly after receiving confirmation of the booking in which we described the number of people in the party (5) and emphasized the fact that we were travelling with our dog. David responded that he did not want the dog in his home. Airbnb then contacted us and said that, since the listing had indicated that the property was pet friendly, our money would be refunded if he would not accomodate the dog, but that they were working with him. Then the wheels came off. The original booking for the three bedroom home had apparently been shown as being for one (1) person plus a dog. Although we had communicated with David and received a follow up confirmation from airbnb correcting the error and showing that we were a party of five, David took the position that the reservation was for only one, and that he was entitled to keep the entire amount of our payment if we were unwilling to stay in the home on those terms. In communicating this to us he noted that there were cameras on the property and literally threatened to send the police to remove us if we arrived with more than one person. After a day of back and forth and several phone calls with different airbnb representatives, the company, to our horror, effectively took David's side -- refunding only $700 and saying he was entitled to keep the remaining $1,300 unless I stayed in the three bedroom home by myself. I have emailed Brian Chesky, airbnb's founder, who posts his address on line (presumbably for exactly this kind of thing) but have had no response. We have disputed the charge on our credit card and are hoping American Express will help us out, but feel that it is appropriate to use social media to make sure that others do not fall into the same trap.
Reviewer is in unhappy mood. user63355377 stated that there is a room for improvement of poor customer service and could not trust host. Please immediately contact the author of this review to discuss "service not provided, deposit not refunded" of airbnb house rental and associated monetary loss in the amount of $1300. Airbnb needs to issue a full refund according to poster's claims.