I’ve now used Airbnb three times and each time was a nightmare. The first time, the house had no heater and we froze. I left the host a note, but being a nice guy, chose not to review them. The second was in a lovely location, but the unit was dirty and had safety issues. Worst of all, it was built into a garage full of automotive parts and old cars; it smelled of oil and gasoline. My wife has a serious medical condition that is severely impacted by strong chemical smells. We contacted the host and cancelled the rest of our stay and had to find a hotel, which ended up costing a lot more. The third time, I contacted the host in advance and told them about my wife’s condition. I was given assurances that the rental did not have chemical smells and was told to expect an upscale luxury retreat in a great location. When we arrived (after eight hours of driving) the condo complex was a dive, with sketchy people standing outside smoking, nestled between two freeway overpasses. The real issue was that when we went inside, there were strong air freshener smells that immediately made my wife ill. Throwing open the window flooded the place with foul mold smells from the sprinkler system and smoke from the shady guys outside. I contacted the owner, who started to deny all of it, but then apologized and told me to take it up with Airbnb. I will say her taste in decorations was very nice, but I had to find a different place for us to stay again. Once again, it ended up costing me a lot more. I’ve been battling with Airbnb customer service ever since. I did manage to get my money back, but conversations about compensation for my extra lodging has (which one agent promised me) have gone nowhere and I never receive the calls they promise me.
After literally weeks (correct use of the word here) of going back and forth, we came to an agreement, though not the one I’d hoped for. We did get a complete refund of our Airbnb that we did not stay in and they covered the difference between what we paid and what we expected to pay, but in this way: Half in a cash payment and half to a Airbnb certificate. I asked that they apply it to my son’s account since he was coming to visit nearby and it would still benefit me, but they insisted that it must be in my name so that I can get a good Airbnb experience. But “this experience” has made us realize that unless my wife’s medical condition gets better, we can’t stay somewhere unless we first go see the place, which does not work with the Airbnb model. Contacting the Host and asking did not work. From looking at this site, I know that I’m lucky since I got some resolution, but part of their solution does not benefit me and will probably go unused in the 1 year expiration they gave me. But then I’m sure that’s the idea.