Once upon a time, Airbnb was hailed as the most ingenious and novel way to travel. In this story the visitor resolved to get petty retribution after dealing with a careless host of an illegal Airbnb. Read the story and share your views.
I want to note that I hate Airbnb and I think a majority of the hosts have no business being hosts. I have had some bad experiences and have avoided using them the past 4 years. Someone gifted me a Airbnb gift card and I had it in my possession for over 2 years. I thought okay, it has been 4 years, wounds heal and maybe I can try it again and finally use this gift card. Also, I am not a Karen and I rarely leave bad reviews. Normally I try to be very understanding of situations and not vengeful, but this experience had too many issues for me to ignore.
I planned a vacation to Canada and found a listing, it was a condo. 4.5 star rating, 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom. Price seemed okay and it had a designated underground parking space available for our car rental. I booked the place and didn’t think much of it.
3 days before my reservation the owner sends me instructions on how to access his place, the parking garage, etc. There is a note in his instructions, the property does not permit short term rentals like Airbnb and if anyone asks, I should lie and say I am staying for a month. Okay. Whatever shady stuff you want to do, fine with me as long as I don’t get into any legal trouble here.
I had no problems locating the condo and letting myself in using the instructions provided. However, there was a slew of other problems that I don’t think I should have had to deal with:
- The underground garage key button did not work though and cars would come in and out of the underground parking. No matter what I pressed on the garage key, it wouldn’t work. I messaged the owner who said try this, try that, get closer, I fiddled with this thing for a hour. I ended up parking on the street, but that was permitted for overnight parking. Overall, I spent like 3 hours on this dumb garage key issue during the whole trip.
His solutions were:
– Go replace the battery on the garage key button, but I didn’t have a screw to free the battery from inside the garage key. I was also a bit annoyed that I had to spend my vacation time fixing an issue with his garage key.
– He would send someone over, well that person never came and he changed his mind 4 hours later to send someone.
– He suggested I park in a paid parking lot, a one way 15 minute walk away from the condo. I would have to spend 30 minutes a day walking to and from my vehicle. He would pay for parking, but nothing else. I suggested he pay for an uber each day or give me a discount for the time I’m losing each day, but he wouldn’t. A big reason I booked this Airbnb was because of the parking spot.
2) Why am I paying a cleaning fee? The condo was not clean. Just the toilet was clean I think and the floor was swept. The carpet floors had human hair all over it gathering up around the corners and around the bed. The beds were made, but the bed sheets were not washed. You can smell body odors on it. There was a washer and dryer in the condo so we threw all of the bed sheets, pillow covers, and towels into the wash – it took about 4 hours to get through all of that laundry.
3) The TV that sits on a TV stand was flimsy and broken. If you put any weight on the side of the TV stand, the top portion of it will dislodge and the TV will topple over. Which it did and an 15 year old flat screen TV was broken. I took responsibility and replaced it with a brand new one. He was fine with that. I didn’t blame him, but did inform him the stand was broken and sent him a video of it, he said he sees nothing wrong with it.
4) While I was replacing the TV, I also took the garage key with me and replaced he battery. The garage key still doesn’t work, I sent him the receipt for the battery purchase and my paypal information. I had to message him 3x until he randomly sent me a wire using Canada banks that I couldn’t accept.. and I couldn’t accept the money because I have a U.S. bank. He was just like too bad. I had to take it up with Airbnb whom reimbursed me.
After all of that, the Airbnb host said his cleaning lady tried the garage key and she was able to get it to work by standing really close to the garage hub box (I’m not sure what it is called). I don’t see the point in him saying that, but whatever.
I left him a bad review on Airbnb, but I just didn’t think it was enough.
Here comes my revenge…
I remembered on the first day of my stay, someone knocked on our door and asked who we were. I lied according to the host instructions that we were visiting from out of town and staying a month.
I looked up the property management company of that building and emailed them. I informed them of his instructions to lie, shared the Airbnb listing link, and specified what unit it was.
I got a response a few days later and the property management said it was unacceptable and they will be speaking to the owner. I’m not sure what the outcome is, I’ll check in a few weeks to see if the listing is still up. Let’s see if I shut down his Airbnb business.
Here are a few comments on the story where it was originally posted: