This was the first time I used Airbnb. Two days after having a confirmed booking, my host informed me that her house rules did not allow single men. This was actually stated on her page but only if you clicked to expand the rules list. The first line dealt with “no smoking”, etc. As it was the first time I used the site, I didn’t think to check carefully through this as I assumed it dealt with “do”s and “don’t”s at the property. The booking was accepted, payment taken and two days later the host informed me of her rule.
I went to cancel the booking and despite the fact that the host rejected my booking and I selected that option, Airbnb informed me that I would only receive £45.00 GBP back on a booking of £105.00. Either Airbnb or the host keeps the balance. Interesting that the host – who I emailed at the time of booking – had waited two days to respond, which brought me just within fourteen days of the booking date. According Airbnb terms, a cancellation within 14 days returns only 50% of the booking fee and 0% of the administrative fees.
Hosts are free to cancel on you and it would seem, keep half the booking fee. Presumably they are then free to resell your room. I have searched to find a way to contact Airbnb and they are clearly another internet giant hiding behind anonymity: no obvious numbers, no contact forms and just not interested in anything but your money.