I can’t make this story colorful because it simply is not. I hope it helps others. I went to see an Airbnb before moving in as it was for a long-term stay. I found the lift out of order (other inhabitants were complaining about it as it was an antique and probably not up to current standards). I was able to climb the four high floors (I have a respiratory ailment) and found the current guest, who let me in. I did not ask to see the room but the rest of the place convinced me I didn’t want to climb all those stairs on a twice daily basis for a long stay in that place.
When I tried to cancel, I learned that the host had put up two different ads for the same room – with two different cancellation policies. Airbnb in that country – Italy – does not seem to check the validity of the ads. Also, the exact geographical location was not revealed until the full payment was processed and the exact address was not provided until I asked for it, the day before departure for Italy.
I finally got reimbursement, but not before filing a complaint with the European Commission for Consumer Fraud online. Airbnb Italy kept phoning me during my work time to try and stall on payment of the reimbursement. Once you give them your phone number, ostensibly for contact with the host, they keep it, and use it. I was ready to go to the police for telephone harassment. Only Airbnb Ireland could finally solve the problem. Never again. Use professionals who are inspected and fiscally in line.