Not Paying Attention to House Rules Can Cost You

I had a flight to Zurich two weeks ago. When I was boarding, I made a booking on Airbnb at the last moment, like I always do. This is my travel life style; everything is booked at the last minute, and I thought no host would complain about it. Anyway, I booked it, they charged my card, and after a while this host in Zurich said that I could not check in at the time I wanted (1-2:00 PM) and I needed to wait for him until 9:00 PM. For me, after a long flight the last thing I want to do is wait seven hours with luggage, tired in the airport. Of course I wanted to arrive, take a shower, sleep, and then explore the city.

When I saw his reply that he only checks in guests at 9:00 PM and later, I said he could cancel my booking. He rudely said no, that this was my problem for not looking at the house rules on his profile page before I booked. I checked his page, and it was my mistake. I totally agreed with him and asked him what I could do now. I had already paid. Again, I was completely okay with this being my mistake, because I made the booking in a hurry before my departure. However, from the beginning I saw a rude attitude in his messages and honestly did not want to see his face. Even though I had already paid, self respect is more important than the fifty dollars I paid.

I arrived in Zurich, met my friends for coffee, and told them the story that I had to wait for host until 9:00, and that the host didn’t sound like a host. My friends told me I could stay with them, and forget about paying 50 USD for an Airbnb. I was very happy. That evening this rude host started asking me where I was, and why I was late. Really? I rented a room at his place, where he lives, not the entire home, and he wrote in his profile that checking in anytime from 9:00 PM until 3:00 AM was fine. Why should I hurry? He would be home all this time, waiting for me and his other guests, because this is somehow extra income for him. Why would he tell me he is not a hotel and I most arrive at the time which we agreed upon?

What is it, if not a hotel? The moment you start to get any money from a guest it’s called rent, and I’m his customer. I wanted to write a negative comment about him, but was busy with my travels. Now Airbnb is saying I can’t write a comment after 14 days, which is sad, because he wrote a comment about me. I don’t know how to remove it, or how to write and report about him.

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8 Comments

  1. Oh my god. Is this real, or just trolling? This has to be trolling, because I refuse to believe that anyone is this inconsiderate as standard practice (“I made a last minute booking on Airbnb like I always do.”). Do you seriously think that all hosts sit around their homes 24/7 just waiting for guests and/or last minute bookings? Hosts are people just like you, with jobs, and lives, and social plans. You seriously expected a 24 hour concierge service for $50/night? Shame on you. I am a host, and while I am generally able to accommodate last minute bookings, at least my guests understand that a. I am doing them a favor, and b. I probably will not be able to rearrange my schedule with only a couple of hours’ notice, so they’re just going to have to wait until I am available. Sure, sometimes emergencies arise and force someone to book a place with very little notice, but some people – like you, for instance – just need to plan better, and that shouldn’t be your host’s problem. Airbnbs are NOT hotels. If you want hotel service, then stop being so cheap and pay for one.

  2. Airbnb listings are not hotels; they are different business models. You were in the wrong for not reading the house rules. As you booked same day, the host most likely couldn’t find a new guest so I believe it is fair for you to pay. The reason that hosts who rent a room in their house want to know when you will check in is so that they can plan to be there when you arrive. That way they can greet you and show you around the house.

  3. The problem is guests NEVER READ LISTINGS. They think it’s a hotel. Airbnb does not do enough to make travelers understand the risk they are taking….I wish I could make every guest who stays at my home say they have traveler’s insurance, since then I wouldn’t have to worry so much. The average Airbnb user just sees dollar signs and does not understand risk or liability and both hosts and guests will scam others over this. It’s just a major case of miscommunication engendered by kind of sleazy Airbnb practices that allow illegal sublets, unsafe sublets, and wild lies on listings for the sake of booking fees. It crushes people who are honest users.

  4. Totally agree with Carol, the part where guests think that airbnb offers hotel service. I had a lot of trouble with some of the guests who like to call me in the middle of the night (literally) and ask why their TV reception is not working. Its not a concierge service. There is a time and place for showing around and explaining things. I totally on the host side and I think the author has to inform the host that he is not coming, just be polite. I have been hosting guests since March, and once a while you get a type of client who thinks he is coming to 5 star hotel and excepts to be treated accordingly.

  5. Actually Carol if you’re offering a short term rental a hotel is exactly what you are. Ignore facts all you want by you’re a hotel and by stripping away residential neighborhoods to earn your own profit as a hotel you are responsible for the destruction of communities.

    Being as ignorant as you like doesn’t change the reality of the situation

  6. Yes Michael, the valet and chef services offered by airbnb hosts, not to mention activities, and tour buses are totally clogging up our streets. It’s a real concern. This changing face of our neighbourhoods.

    Get real. The best holidays have always been away from hotels and resorts and in people’s own quaint holiday homes. It’s been going on for decades. Unless you’re running an airbnb party pad, I doubt your neighbors even know or care who is coming and going.

  7. In New Orleans, at least, neighbors are hyper aware of Airbnb properties, and resent the presence of clueless noisy tourists in our residential neighborhoods.

    Some residents will intentionally give obvious Airbnb customers wrong directions just to mess with them

  8. Yeah, because New Orleans is so classy and upscale. Please. Worst people on the planet. Worst. People. On. The. Planet.

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