Before explaining my situation detail, I should first explain the terrible negligence at work in Airbnb customer service. My dispute was on the mediating system. Since I’m Korean and can’t speak English fluently, I just sent in my complain, explaining that I was innocent, and provided proof, as well as an explanation in Korean so the Korean Airbnb customer center could advise me. Suddenly Airbnb wasn’t reading my emails, didn’t exert any effort into reading the Korean complaints, and just sent me a formal message translated into Google (“I understand this is not the outcome you were hoping for”, something like this) and blocked my email.
Who can call Airbnb an international service? Couldn’t they connect me to someone who can speak both Korean and English so that they fully understand and listen to both parties more carefully and considerately? Why should I send and receive an English mail to prove I’m innocent though It’s not my mother language? There are two million Korean users per year through Airbnb. As a system goes, guests are always relatively helpless when something goes wrong. Hosts are locals; they already know everything. They have a huge advantage in disputes and I am being handicapped. Anyway, I think they are not able to read Korean and it seems there is nobody who speaks Korean who can help them. I sent an English complaint to them. It would be better than using Google Translate; I don’t know whether they read my email though.
I planned to stay in a Manchester, UK Airbnb from 1/31-2/4. My room was on the second floor and there was another guest next to my room. The bathroom was next to my room and there was a kitchen and the host’s private room on the first floor. The morning of February 1st, I took a shower. After a hour, the host came upstairs and shouted at me that water was leaking and dripping down through the 1st floor ceiling due to not using the shower curtain. While she was scolding me, she was very mad and used violent and racist words, e.g. “What a Chinese!”, “Do Chinese use bathrooms like this?”… she didn’t even know where I was from. I used the shower curtain and I told her that I used it on that day in clear English.
I checked out right after that problem occurred because I felt so bad and uncomfortable with her attitude and the whole situation. A few days after leaving, the host requested 300 pounds for damages. I disputed it.
I’m innocent and this request was unfair. If the house was originally in perfect condition and had no problems, the shower could not be leaking. Generally, it is likely that water is bound to be splattered on the bathroom floor while taking a shower. Even if there is a little more water than usual, water leaking through the ceiling is nonsense. How can just water splattered from the shower make a huge crack and cause the ceiling to leak? If that’s the case, then how can British people clean the bathroom and use the water properly in the bathroom?
I didn’t pour water on the floor. I just took a shower in the bath using a shower curtain. Also, there was a huge crack on the ceiling and the host blamed me and pressured me into thinking that I made that crack. Not only was water leaking but there was also a huge crack on the ceiling? Do you really think this is a normal situation?
As you can see on the pictures I attached, the crack is so wide that no one could think that it was made by the shower. I cannot help but only understand that the house originally had a crack and the problem was old. If I jumped on the floor, would they have accused me of destroying the house? This didn’t make sense at all. Taking a shower is an everyday act everybody in the world does.
If there was a possibility that the water could be leaking, or the house was weak or had a crack, the host had to notify me to be careful using the bathroom. As I’ve written, two million Koreans use Airbnb and even people from 191 different countries are using the service. In Asia there is a drain hole on the bathroom floor, so the water can go through it. If there was a risk that a leak could cause 300-pound repairs and make a host so angry, she should have notified me in advance, considering the cultural differences. I have not been provided any notice or anything from Airbnb or directly from her.
There is no definite causality. There was another guest in the house and only god knows when he used the bathroom and how used it. Therefore there is no sufficient cause that the leak was caused by my shower or anything else. These are main reasons that vindicate me and show why this case is so abnormal and unfair. I felt so bad and uncomfortable that she scolded, punished and pressed me but I couldn’t properly act because that was my first trip, my first time using Airbnb, and I’m not good at English.
I expected a clever solution from Airbnb customer service but they didn’t seem to take the guests’ side, just acted mechanically, like an answering robot. It’s such a shame. A huge crack due to shower water… let’s be honest. I attached a picture of the crack and hope you guys can give me any advice.