When you’re traveling alone for business, you would think it might be nice to save a few dollars and spend it elsewhere by getting an Airbnb a few minutes away from the conference you’re attending. I can put up with a lot but when you start to feel like a vagrant in a homeless shelter, I think that’s where I draw the line. I should’ve figured something was up when I exchanged texts with my host who told me to head upstairs and open the door because it would be unlocked. Nothing of value and nothing to worry about, I suppose. I walked into what was obviously a college student’s bachelor pad. All furnishings were kept to a bare minimum except for a rack full of men’s sneakers. At least it looked clean, if not bare. I walked in to find a partially exposed full-sized mattress on a bare metal base with a single dingy dirty flat sheet, a thin ratty looking blanket on top, and a blue/brown pillow that looked like it should’ve been either blue or brown (but not both).
However, it was late at night, I was tired, and I tried to overlook this but I couldn’t get over how cold it was there. The “furnished living room” was surrounded by windows across two walls with a connected balcony door. That’s when I discovered that there was a gaping hole in that balcony door and a thin garbage bag taped over the opening was still flapping in the wind. Now, mind you there was an extreme cold advisory and windchill warnings in Portland, OR that week. It was 29 degrees outside and there was a hole in the window. The heat wasn’t working – of course – and despite what my host said should have been an easy flick of the knob, I wasn’t able to force it on. So I sat on this dingy ratty looking mattress with a dirty looking sheet, blanket, and used looking pillow and thought about why I made such a poor decision to take a risk on Airbnb. I went to the bathroom and found it bare, stained, and moldy looking with no toilet paper. None. Nowhere to be found. I mean, I was already thinking that it’s a little ridiculous to ask me to bring my own bath towel, but should I have brought my own toilet paper too? Even public restrooms stock their toilet paper. What am I paying for?
In the end, I left because even the host had decided he wasn’t going to stay there until the window was fixed (likely after a drunken college party as I found bottle caps and tabs under the bed). He was at dinner with his friends and wouldn’t be back for a few days, after the window was fixed. I tried to get a refund, which is obviously a joke. The host said he was never paid the full amount, Airbnb said he was. He would only give me the “portion” of the money he received, because he didn’t want to give me money of out his pocket (I guess only fools like me do). Airbnb said the $25 service fee was nonrefundable but I laid into the poor man I spoke with on the phone and he gave me a $25 credit on the site. I’m not sure why I agreed to that (maybe because I obviously wasn’t going to get anything else).
Reservation total = $125 for 2 nights. The host refunded me $57 out of the $97 reservation cost; so I’m out $40 for being stupid (-$3 which just disappeared) with a $25 credit to be stupid again. I’m so disgusted with the whole situation.