Avoid Diana in Astoria, Oregon at all costs

Tons of red flags from the first email response from Diana in Astoria, who rents her upstairs attic room. Saying that I must be “new to this,” she scolded me for not writing a more detailed intro description of me and my family and our reason for being in Astoria. I added more info and she accepted us. We agreed on a 5 p.m. check-in time. Driving up from Lincoln City, I contacted her before we left informing her we would be leaving a bit later than expected and said we should be in Astoria at 5:30. She responded via email: “5:30 is no problem. Thanks for letting me know in advance.” The drive up took longer than we thought. Lots of one-lane roads with slower vehicles, lots of twists and turns. We went as fast as we could and did not stop for anything. About an hour out of Astoria, we called her to let her know we were going as quickly as we could, but were estimated to arrive in Astoria at 6. Below is her email response: “Got your vm. Not happy about it, but I’ll see you at 6pm. Please be more respectful of a host’s time in the future, especially when you have asked for a special check-in time. This is not a good way to start as a guest. I know this is your first time with Airbnb, so it’s a learning experience. I would be less frustrated if you had asked if it was okay to change the time and had asked me in advance, rather than messages throughout the day *telling* me that the plan had changed. It feels very disrespectful and inconsiderate, and not a good way to start. I will see you at 6pm. If it’s going to be later than that, please tell me now so we can make a decision about whether this is going to work. Thank you in advance for respecting my time as a host.” My wife read her response as I drove. We were shocked, upset and especially angry about her inferring that she might not accept us if were came any later than 6. My response: “We’re in Seaside right now. We’re going as fast as we can,” to which she responded, “I’ll see you when get here. We can just start again. I know you guys are new to airbnb. Thanks for understanding. I’ll be in the garden. See you then. We drove as fast as we could and arrived at 6 on the dot. We found Diana puttering around in her backyard with her dog. She was visibly upset and agitated. She acknowledged us, but citing difficulties with her dog’s surgery, she quickly and repeatedly reminded us how important it was that we be on time. My wife and two kids and I stood and listened to her prattle on about her dog and about needing to “reset” herself. She was about to put the dog in the house and show us around when she stopped, looked as us looking at her and said, “are you ok?” I said “yes.” She said that other guests who have come late normally offer an apology of some kind. She mumbled something about it not working out with us. I responded, saying that her email beat down was inappropriate and hostile and because of that, I didn’t owe her an apology. I reminded her that we were considerate enough to keep her informed every step of the way about being late, got there as fast as we could but because of traffic, were delayed. I said I was very annoyed that she inferred she might not take us in and I said that it might not work after all. Hearing this, she backed off a bit, saying that had lots of errands that day and was counting on us being on time. She talked about “reseting” and “starting over,” but when I said we were only 30 minutes late, she lost it. She started yelling at us on her doorstep calling me obnoxious and inconsiderate. After we argued back and forth, I asked for a refund. She refused. I said then she needed to let us in to our room. She refused. My wife said she was not honoring our agreement and that we already paid for the room. She said something about being a lawyer and told us to take it up with Airbnb. I protested, she yelled at me and my family to get off her property and slammed her door in our face. Luckily we found a decent, similarly-priced hotel room in the city. I immediately called Airbnb and explained my story. She listened, called Diana for her side, called us back 10 minutes later telling us that Diana’s side of the story was different than mine, said she is a great host with great reviews but after reading Diana’s emails, granted us a full refund on the spot. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Diana would have had us on egg shells had we stayed, not something I wanted on a family road trip to Seattle. My final email to her: Diana – your unprofessionalism and inflexibility today as a host was shocking. And your refusal to grant us a refund was unprincipled, something airbnb obviously agreed with by granting us a full refund. Your new at this – don’t lecture potential clients and don’t do this unless you can handle some measure of uncertainty that travelers sometimes encounter. Chill out! The rest of our stays in Airbnb locations in Seattle were wonderful. Hosts were kind, flexible and accommodating, as they should be. Had I not gotten the refund I deserved, I would never use their service again.

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