Is there no way to contact Airbnb directly to present a major complaint? This was the first holiday season in 40 years that my husband was able to take off work. We had a wonderful and very expensive Christmas vacation planned for us, with our grown sons and their significant others, in Palm Springs. We live on the East Coast. This was our first Christmas ever away from home, and we chose this particular property over many others with the same amenities because of the beautiful and unique looking heated pool and hot tub/spa, framed by the mountains. The first thing I checked when booking was that the pool would definitely be heated since temperatures are in the 60s in December. It was the main thing my husband and I were looking forward to in terms of relaxation and exercise. We arrived to find a cold pool and a half empty hot tub. To attempt to make a very long story as brief as possible, we spent four days of our seven-day stay, phoning, texting, pleading, and questioning the property manager about it. A variety of service guys were sent to fix it, to no avail. Four days of anger, frustration, and incredulity.
The last service man, who said he had been called to the property many times in the past, said the whole system was old and needed to be replaced but the owner refused to do anything about it. I say four days because after that we gave up. To add insult to injury, the property manager treated us as though we were being unreasonable about being so upset. The only offer of compensation was to refund the extra charge – over and above the advertised price – that we had to pay to heat the pool. If I were the host or owner of the property and this happened to a family spending their holiday at my house only to find the “crown jewel” of the property broken down, I would have offered either a refund or an invitation to come back at another time for a seven-day stay to compensate for this disaster. That didn’t happen of course.
It was then that I realized that Airbnb has major pitfalls. As per the agreement, Airbnb holds no responsibility for ruined vacations and is not obligated to offer any form of compensation for a major amenity not in working order and not delivering what is promised in the description; the property manager or host is not obligated to do anything in terms of compensation (they take half of the fee) and guests have absolutely no rights whatsoever. $4,000 rental for a Christmas trip? Just suck it up. I’ve used Airbnb many times, but never will again. I’m wondering how long it’s going to take me to feel anything other than pure rage every time I think about it.