Don’t Use Airbnb

Well, I get to join the chorus of people who say Airbnb is an awful service and platform for awful people.

A few weeks ago I set up a reservation for an apartment in New York so that my wife and I could visit at the end of the year. The reservation was expensive, a bit over $2000 and I had to put $1100 down on it. The host’s cancellation policy said “after 48-hours, no money back,” but I didn’t think much of it because it seemed like a sure thing.

Well, two weeks later I learn that we can’t go. So I reached out to the host and the host claims that they set up their own vacation reservation and that they can’t cancel it, so they won’t let me cancel the reservation and get any money back.

I reached out to Airbnb and they won’t do anything about it either, saying they won’t override the host’s cancellation policy.

Sure, this is my bad. I shouldn’t have set up a reservation with a host who has a 48-hour cancellation policy. It was foolish of me to think that someone who rents out an apartment on the upper east side of New York would be a nice person and wouldn’t simply want to keep over $1000 of free money for doing nothing.

This host has been on Airbnb for a long time, so it’s likely that they’ve done this to others and that Airbnb is complicit in it. There’s no other reason for them to provide such a strict cancellation policy on reservations no matter how far away they are.

I’m used to a world with good customer service, where if you’re nice and polite, people want to help you out. But that doesn’t exist over on Airbnb, apparently, and considering this was my first time ever trying to use Airbnb, I don’t think I will ever try again. What a horrible way to treat your customers, I really don’t understand it.