I've just spent a rather unpleasant night at a hostel in Barcelona.

I didn't sleep well. Quite hot and loud and I was being eaten by insects. A few hours sleep woken by the place shaking at 8 due to construction.

My friend had an even worse time and had no sleep. Complained at night and was able to get a full refund.

I persevered until the morning when we had to leave. She couldn't take another day there and that really didn't appeal to me either. I was only able to get the money for one of my three days back (only stayed for 1) from a very hostile guy at the front desk and my deposit is in the aether.

Is there anything that can be done to fight back against this?

Bad reviews are an option of course. But something official? Any possibility my bank can do something about the deposit?

It's a hostel. It's not huge money. But still. Feels annoying to be conned. Would be good to see a wee bit of justice even if it doesn't benefit me.

  • 4
    Leave them an awful but well-written and polite review on as many websites as you can find. I guarantee this will damage them a lot more than getting your deposit back.
    – JonathanReez
    Jul 13, 2016 at 8:28
  • @JonathanReez I'm not sure why people want to damage them if it does never get you any benefits. It is such an irrational act, IMHO.
    – Blaszard
    Jul 14, 2016 at 14:29
  • @Blaszard same reason why people on Travel.SE are helping others out free of charge ;)
    – JonathanReez
    Jul 14, 2016 at 14:37

1 Answer 1


In 2016, a bad online review with a lot of visibility is a big deal. Find a few high traffic websites (tripadvisor, google, facebook) and leave them not an angry rant, but a bad and polite review. Companies are very sensitive about their online reputation and image (and if they're not they won't survive very long) and are much quicker to react than in offline, in-person interactions because of this public visibility.

As for a financial recourse, I think you can forget about getting your money back. After the date of check-in most places would have kept the money anyway even if you didn't show up. As much as I feel your pain, there was technically no fraud or con, which means there's no ground for reversing a charge on a credit card (for example). The hostel did give you a room in exchange for your money, except it was awful.

  • 2
    And the flip side is: look at those reviews before booking. I've found tripadvisor to be quite helpful, and Booking.com even more so as there is still some verification of the poster. Jul 13, 2016 at 18:27
  • It could be classed as 'misrepresentation' if the hostel is not as good as it is advertised. So you may be able to claim it back from the credit card. Depends on what country you are from, and what credit card etc. The credit card company may be helpful, even if not legally required.
    – vclaw
    Jul 13, 2016 at 20:43
  • Some jurisdictions have fair trading laws or the like. Don't know if it applies to accommodation or Spain, though.
    – Golden Cuy
    Jul 14, 2016 at 3:54

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