Airbnb Almost Ruined our Honeymoon

My wife and I wanted to go to the Virginia mountains for our honeymoon. We had never used Airbnb before but thought that we would give it a try and rented a cabin. When we arrived we found the place to be only partially cleaned from the previous guests, we couldn’t get any of the heaters to work, and there were parts of the cabin completely off limits due to renovations (that was not stated anywhere in the listing). We spoke with the host and they said that they were sending over the maid. After waiting for 45 minutes we felt like we were being robbed of the first day of our honeymoon. We hadn’t seen the maid yet, and we couldn’t help but think about what else might not be clean in the house that we haven’t yet discovered and can’t be easily seen (like bed sheets).

A few more phone calls to the host and finally I was offered to either get a full refund or to find another one of their cabins to be set up. Although we thought the offer for a refund was considerate, we found ourselves in an unfamiliar secluded mountain town with night approaching. We had no idea where we would stay or even how far the next hotel was. We opted to take a look at the other cabins they had available but we had issues with the wifi and barely had any cell phone reception. After a road trip looking for somewhere we could sit to get some Internet connectivity, we browsed their listings but couldn’t find anything comparable to what we had except for one. However, it was slightly more expensive and would have cost a total of about $100 more total for our stay there. We called the host back to inform them of our selection but explained that we weren’t interested in handing over more money, even if it was only $100; we weren’t very confident in their hospitality thus far.

The host was not willing to work with us on the extra cost, so we opted for a full refund and spent the rest of our night searching for where we would stay during our trip. Luckily we still had a great time, but never got our refund until our entire honeymoon was over and we had made several more phone calls. Even then we didn’t receive a full refund, as it was short $124. The host explained that this was because Airbnb’s cut of the deal was $124 and that I would have to take it up with them to get that back. So a few back and forth emails happen and eventually, I’m offered the $124 refund from Airbnb. However, they were sure to let me know that this was a one-time courtesy and not to expect it in the future because these funds are “what Airbnb uses to cover their business expenses.” I’m glad I got the refund, but I’m astounded that they believe that it would be acceptable to justify charging any amount of money to a client when the only service they were provided was absolute inconvenience. Save your money and your time and use another service.

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