To start, I want to say that I normally love Airbnb. I have rented with them for years and years and never had an issue. Until now. I was so excited to celebrate my 30th birthday in Palm Desert when I learnt that the host cancelled less than 24 hours before we were supposed to arrive. The host initially offered absolutely no explanation but later told us that the city of Palm Desert would not let her rent the place out any more and she had to cancel all future reservations as patrol officers were writing citations for her guests.
I understand she had to cancel all future reservations. However, every other guest had at least a week to find new accommodation whereas we were struggling to find a place for the very next day. As such, I spent the majority of my Sunday in California trying to find a new place that looked like it would be enjoyable for the group, missing out on the activities we had planned for that day.
It was totally unacceptable that Airbnb wasn’t willing to help at all. We booked this reservation in November for my 30th birthday trip. The cancellation was so last minute that hotels in the area were already sold out and many of the other Airbnbs were taken. Making matters worse, the group had already flown from across the country (from New York and Boston) and internationally (four from Canada and another one from Australia) leaving us no option but to take another Airbnb that was less than desirable.
The house we originally booked was well decorated, homey and simply adorable. The house we settled for was gaudy, cold and tasteless. In addition, there were a number of rules when checking in that made it difficult for our group to access the house, including threats that we might get turned away at the gate upon arrival if we mentioned we were renting the house instead of friends of the owner.
When we arrived, the backyard was an absolute mess, as was the pool. I took many pictures of this but Airbnb reps didn’t seem to care. It took many calls to get the owner to send someone to clean the pool (which was un-swimmable for the first full day of our stay) and clear all the debris. When they did, it was a few hours of noise and a terrible smell of gas from the air blower they were using. Lastly, there was constant construction at the house next door to us, making it difficult to have a conversation outside.
To me, it’s crazy that Airbnb isn’t willing to help at all or offer a future credit to try to make it up to me. It was as if I booked at the Four Seasons and ended up at a motel down the street for an additional charge. I was charged an extra $380 for the extra cost of the new house, which was one of the only ones we could find in the area. I was told that would be covered. I am an avid Airbnb user and am always willing to spread the word about the company in a positive way, but really think this is insane.