My first experience was so bad and eye opening that I refuse to use Airbnb again. I was heading to Toronto for a wedding and needed a room for the night. I knew I’d just need a place to sleep so I found an inexpensive room. I can’t remember what I paid, but it was around $45.
The way it was written, it sounded like it was an in-law suite. I figured they probably meant it was just a single room with a shared kitchen but the description was badly written.
When I pulled up, it was one of the largest houses I’d ever seen. I knocked and several Chinese people answered the door. I’m an ESL teacher specializing in Chinese education and it’s Toronto; I wasn’t put off by this… until I found out none of them were the owner. They said I needed to call the host and they gave me his number.
He appeared a minute or two after I called. He started giving me a tour, asking what room I’d like. I noticed very quickly there were like ten people living here and room for probably twenty – all Chinese. He appeared to be running a hostel. As he was giving me the tour, it was clear he had no idea why I was there. I explained again that I was there for Airbnb.
“Oh!” He says. Gone goes the offer of big rooms upstairs. He led me to a small room in the basement. It was relatively clean, just a little dingy. I got ready and then left for the wedding. When I got home after midnight, the residents were in the kitchen and super loud. I debated just abandoning it and driving home at 2:00 AM tired, but didn’t.
I got home and the host starting texting asking I leave a review. He left me a nice review; I didn’t return the favor. I left an unfavorable review explaining it was a hostel with loud residents and a host who doesn’t know who is coming and going.
He then proceeded to text my personal phone, harassing me about it, saying I was an idiot for thinking I would get an in-law suite for that price; I should have known there would be other people, etc. At this point I blocked him and contacted Airbnb. He was apparently “talked to”, and I was told to block him. No offer of compensation, which is fine because I said outright I wouldn’t be returning.