During our six years as Airbnb guests, amounting to 19 stays in various parts of the world, I’ve very rarely felt uneasy enough to photograph the place before and after. This was especially true with this apartment because it all seemed ideal for us – terrible mistake. This Airbnb accommodation was just as described by the host and many glowing reviews: a comfortable, self-contained basement apartment with a well-equipped kitchen. My wife and I booked the apartment for two months because it was one of very few Airbnb offerings in Black Diamond, Alberta, Canada. Also, most fortunately, it was just a few doors away from our family, who we were in Black Diamond to visit. This unusually good combination of positive features caused us to ask the host if it would be possible for us to book the apartment for future visits and she responded favourably.
We had two great months there, though there was one problem. In the bedroom there was an infestation of bed bugs. Because the accommodation was otherwise so good and because it was our intention to return to this apartment in future years I thought it would be best to report the infestation to the host quietly and privately, rather than making any public fuss about the matter. This seems to have caused her some embarrassment and subsequent antagonism, which I believe induced her to give my wife and I such a startlingly bad review following our stay, as in: “Pleasant people, however they left the suite absolutely filthy.”
As a couple we’ve been enjoying Airbnb’s services for over six years and in that time have stayed at 19 listed locations around the world. It’s mainly because of Airbnb that we have felt secure enough to set out on most of these adventures. We are quiet and responsible retirees who have always treated our hosts with respect and consideration. This has invariably caused us to clean our accommodation thoroughly and return it to the way we found it before leaving, regardless of any pre-charged cleaning fee made by the host. which can be seen from the consistently good reviews we’ve had, until this most recent one.
For Airbnb to leave this damning and untrue review in place will make my wife and I reluctant to book any further Airbnb stays. I have been hoping there is something constructive that Airbnb can do about this situation. Any helpful intervention from Airbnb is still lacking to date. My conclusion: always take detailed before and after photos.