Recently, my family and I visited the midwest. We are regular users of Airbnb and, most of the time, whatever issues we encounter are easily remedied by adjusting our attitude or expectations. But this stay was different.
The property was one of twelve hosted by the same person in a suburban area. Because our stay was only four days and we anticipated being tourists, we booked a basement with a bath and small kitchen. We arrived and things went smoothly: the beds were comfy, there was no kitchen (but there was a microwave and small cooler), and our check in was a breeze.
About 6:00 PM, we heard what sounded like a Dothraki horde running laps around the main floor of the place. We would hear loud bangs and even heard glass shatter. I quickly messaged the host and got a reply from a number not related to our host. The responder was, we think, his wife. In any case, she apologized and said they had three dogs and were pet sitting two more. The barking and noise was constant for nearly three hours. Finally, we heard the owner come home.
Night two began at 7:00 PM. We returned to the basement exhausted. The Kentucky Derby was in full swing upstairs. We tried everything we could think of, including purchasing a very large box fan, to dampen the noise. At 11:00 PM, I contacted the host. They said: “We’re at a concert… sorry about the dogs.”
In the meantime, we did our best to stay quiet so the dogs would stop barking. At 2:00 AM, the owners arrived home and it got quiet enough to sleep. They apparently kennel the dogs at night.
At 4:22 in the morning, a large bang jolted us awake. We heard swearing and footsteps and then someone let the dogs out (and not in a funny, rap song way). For the next three hours, we were subjected to bangs, stomps… think of a stampede. I texted the owner multiple times with no response. At 9:40 AM, I had had it. I went and knocked on the main door. No one answered. I did get a text saying that we had just woke them up. The wife of the owner apologized and said a friend had come home drunk at 4:00, so it wasn’t their fault.
Then, we started hearing a fight break out. Women were screaming. A man was ranting about losing money and we heard a woman say, “You f***ing turned our home into a hotel and those mother f***ers can go to hell!”
Then we heard shuffling and chaos and the lady screamed: “Help!”
I tossed my car keys to my kids and told them to go lock themselves in the car while I called the police and packed up our stuff. After calling the police, I called Airbnb to report an emergency. I was asked to leave my number and a rep would call me back. I never got a call back. My phone did ring, once, but no one spoke.
The host cancelled our reservation so I couldn’t leave feedback. The host told Airbnb there was no fight and that what we heard was a television. Ten minutes later, the wife, who obviously had left the house, texted us and said she was sorry for subjecting our children to a fight but we shouldn’t “expect people to walk on eggshells when we book a basement.”