Extortion is Easy When There are no Receipts

I enjoyed my stay at Andre’s place. It was a little small for the price and did not have a microwave. However, I was willing to pay extra because it was close to work and friends. I enjoyed it until it came to actually dealing with Andre at the end of my three-week stay. I stayed for a period of three weeks. During this time the apartment had gotten messy so I was prepared to hire a professional cleaning service (despite there being a cleaning fee involved at the time of booking) that would have cost me no more than $50 for the entire apartment. However, on the last weekend there I lost my US credit card and had no access to any cash. The cleaning service would not accept my Indian credit card. I had hoped to be able to speak to Andre and offer to PayPal him money for a cleaning service at checkout as he seemed like a reasonable person. Andre did not show up during checkout.

I decided to write him a message later offering to pay. However, I was running late for my flight and could not get to it just then. When I landed, I was greeted by an extremely disrespectful email message about the state of his apartment, despite him exaggerating the messiness, I calmly replied offering to reimburse him for a cleaning service as I had done earlier. Andre is currently asking me for $130 for a maid whom he hires that cleans his apartment “a specific way he likes” and says that he has paid her in cash for which there is no receipt and hence no proof.

Secondly, I placed a cup with some water on Andre’s nightstand and this left a light stain (from the bottom of the cup) on the stand. Andre is currently asking me to pay $150 for repairing this stain, and when I asked him for a receipt for the same as proof, he claimed that he is a woodworker and that it took him two hours to repair and that his time is worth $75/hr. Once again, this amount seems absurd and is unverifiable.

Thirdly, in his rude email, Andre asked me to replace a stainless steel pan to which again, I calmly agreed. The same pan on Amazon costs between $15-$30 and he is asking me for $90 (you can buy an entire set of high quality stainless steel cookware for $90). He boycotts Amazon and only buys from a local store that apparently charges him six times the amount. Once again, I asked for a receipt and have not yet received anything.

Lastly, when Andre asked me to pay him these ridiculous amounts of money and I respectfully and calmly responded saying that I was willing to pay provided he show me receipts, he once again rudely responded to me threatening to charge me for a few nights (out of three weeks) that a friend of mine had to crash at my place because she lived an hour away and was too drunk to drive at 3:00 AM.

When I previously mentioned this to Andre, his exact words were (and I’m copy pasting this here):

“I totally understand that you invited your friend to spend the night on a few occasions and since this didn’t really add to my expenses, other than an extra used towel, I don’t see any reason to charge for her.”

However, now that I asked him for receipts for the amounts of money he is charging me he sent me an email saying (again, copy pasting):

“I also agreed not to charge you for the extra person but if you want to be all precise, I’m happy to add these to the bill as well!”

This response is very slimy and is only adding to the already bad taste in my mouth after this trip. It’s been two weeks since I stayed there and am still dealing with his completely disrespectful emails and ludicrous demands for money. I will probably have to involve Airbnb as a mediator to deal with this situation fairly. 3/5 on the actual apartment, 1/5 on the host 2/5 overall. I would not recommend Airbnb; it’s not worth the trouble of having to deal with individuals like Andre.

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