I am so appalled by what happened with this behemoth of a company that I am inspired to share the story and write this review. I made a reservation with Airbnb in July and within 48 hrs cancelled it to book a larger rental with them. The paperwork on the rental agreement said 100% refundable under these circumstances. I put thru the other reservation and then cancelled the first, only to get a message that a service fee will not be refunded. I sent 4 messages to Airbnb, got no response, so i filed a complaint with my CC who investigated and blocked this fee. Airbnb then sent me an email THREATENING me that if I don't agree to pay it, I risk having my current reservation cancelled as well as my Airbnb membership cancelled.
Several weeks later I got a response from my CC, writing that they received documentation from Airbnb that their policy is non refundable service fee. The papers supporting their contended point were illegible. I just sent back my email completely legibly documenting that the reservation with service fee was 100% refundable: It clearly states right below the reservation code: "cancel before 3:00pm on Aug 2 and get full refund. After that, cancel before 3:00pm on Aug 11 and get a full refund, minus the service fee." (I reserved in early July.)
Then, for my new reservation, they quoted a price on line for a home rental with 15 beds. I reserved without giving a head count. The owner of the property several weeks later asked how many ppl i was bringing. I told him 13, and the owner responded that over 8 guests, an additional $30 /per person per night. When I asked him where that was on the agreement, he directed me toward some hidden fine print stating this. The owner himself responded that this is a recurrent problem with Airbnb: that they insist on advertising without transparency and many renters get upset when they find out that the advertised price was misleading, and have to pay extra.
This is a dishonest, fraudulent, corrupt company that swindles people by insidiously hiding costs and flat out NOT honoring its contract.
I am glad to cancel my contract with these cunning, devious, treacherous crooks.
I can more than afford to pay the service charge, but I feel indignant about their perfidious behavior and intend on sharing this story with as many people who care to hear it.
Airbnb can take its membership and put it somewhere.
Airbnb: Shame on you!