This was my first experience with Airbnb and it went terribly. I really wish I had researched the company a little more before committing to a four-night stay in Myrtle Beach. I thought I had found a great deal and was excited about my trip. Unfortunately, the condo reserved was covered in mold and filth. There was black mold on the curtains, shower curtain, the walls, and the baseboards along with just general filth and stains everywhere else. I went to take a shower and the shower liner was covered in mold and the most disgusting part is that there were pubic hairs on the walls of the shower. There were random stains on the floor that didn’t even look like they had been attempted to be cleaned.
I contacted the owner who said that they would send someone to clean it. The longer I was in the room, the more I realized that this wasn’t a “cleaning lady” job and that someone needed to come in to remove this mold as it was a health and safety risk. I was also wasting precious vacation time on a long weekend away. I waited two hours for a cleaning person to show up. When no one had come, I reserved a room elsewhere assuming that once Airbnb saw my pictures, they would completely be on my side (that’s how dirty the room was) and would feel the same level of disgust. I followed the online steps and submitted a request through the resolution center within the 24 hours stated. Unfortunately, Airbnb restricts the number of characters that you can put in your request so I just tried to give the general run down and attached the pictures of the filth.
When I hadn’t heard anything the next day, I wanted to contact Airbnb directly. It was difficult to find the contact number but I eventually found it and spent quite some time on hold. When I finally spoke with a representative, the woman stated that we needed to give the owner time to respond and that she thought a refund wouldn’t be a problem… she was wrong. Airbnb denied my request for a refund and only provided me with a $200 credit (why would I be interested in using Airbnb again?), not the $475 that I paid on the room. The response from the resolution center claimed that I didn’t give the owner time to have someone come and clean. When I reminded them that I waited two hours and then sent additional pictures of the mold stating that my short stay wasn’t adequate time for them to take care of this issue, the representative then told me that I didn’t follow the proper procedure.
I not only contacted the resolution department within 24 hours but the next day, I called and spoke to a representative who gave me the feeling that I wouldn’t have any issues. As a reminder, their policy states, “at the start of a guests reservation, the accommodation: (i) is not generally clean and sanitary (ii) contains safety or health hazards that would be reasonably expected to adversely affect the Guest’s stay at the Accommodation.” At the start of the reservation… so, at the start of a reservation, the room should be clean. Also, I would think that black mold would be covered under both statements (i) and (ii) considering how dangerous it can be. Apparently not. The room is still up for rent. Airbnb and the host are still collecting their money.
I honestly cannot describe what I’m feeling right now; it is enough to want to cry. $475 is a lot of money to me and this falls in the midst of me trying to save every penny for a wedding. Not only am I out the money for the Airbnb but also the money for a safe hotel that wasn’t covered in mold and stranger’s pubic hairs. I feel like the money was stolen from me. They falsely represented a clean and SAFE room. They didn’t deliver and are keeping my money anyway, even though I didn’t stay at the accommodation. It is so unethical on the host’s side as well as Airbnb and is such a hard thing for me to accept about a company that appeared to be reputable. I have many more pictures but only attached the number of photos that the system allowed. The attached photos are what Airbnb and the host consider to be “generally clean and sanitary” and with no safety to health hazards. They “reasonably expect” the condition of this room not to affect my stay. They are crooks.