NEVER book with anyone with a strict cancellation policy. Total SCAM. I cancelled a reservation 30 minutes after booking and lost HALF of the total fee (~$500). No service by the host was rendered, no harm was done to the host (as if anyone else would reserve the same dates within 30 min with his schedule wide open), yet they got half the fee. There should be a 24hr grace period for cancellation and refunds. The host was in NYC and not knowing the NYC that well, I didn't know the host was located in a dangerous area. Once I found out I cancelled. Be aware there are many other legitamite circumstances where you might have to cancel (ie. flight delayed/cancelled, family emergencies, etc... most of which are NOT covered by AirBnB's extenuating circumstances)
Furthermore, there was no indication at the cancellation page that I was going to be dinged 50% of my price.
There are no remediation processes with airbnb and I could barely find the help page.
This "Strict cancellation" policy is disgusting. Will not be recommending nor ever use this site again.
Monetary Loss: $500.