Was My Host Just Plain Nuts? A Guest Ponders After Bad Review.

As a warning for Airbnb guests, you are only allowed two weeks to respond to reviews. I didn’t even know I had a review until after the fact. There is no way to contact Airbnb from what I could find. On the listing of reviews, my visit didn’t even show up on the site from my viewing.

I have to wonder about Airbnb’s practices regarding reviews of hosts. They make their money from having hosts supported. Even a few negative reviews too many would hamper their success. If negative reviews are kept out, no one is the wiser. Notice Amazon businesses bending over backward to do right by their customers. The overwhelming number of reviews of my hosts portray their experiences as all sweetness and light. There’s a dark side.

It is difficult to fathom the animosity and personal attacks expressed in my host’s comments about me as a guest. She began by claiming I disregarded her 11:00 AM check-out time. Her listing stated nothing with an 11:00 AM check out. Her Airbnb listing stated, “Flexible check out time.” She never stated differently. The fact is, I did, coincidentally, leave the room at 11:00 AM.

I checked my emails while in her living room and left the house until about 3:00 PM, returning to pick up my belongings. Her listing also stated she and her partner “work 8-5 jobs” and that I took advantage of her and her partner, claiming I knew they were not home. I did leave my bags in a corner of their living room during the day while I was out. I certainly did not know their whereabouts. They appear to live in the basement of their house. I didn’t see them Saturday and they made no effort to communicate with me. I assumed they would have been home.

Where the host stated I stayed five hours after her check-out time, I did make a judgement call about leaving my bags at her house while I spent the day out. I was not at her house during that time. But what did Megan actually communicate to me regarding my departure time and my leaving my bags at her house while I was out? We texted at 3:00 PM that day: “Okay, if you could leave prior to 5:00 that would be great… I have no problem with you leaving bags while you were out, but would like to have known in advance.”

Fair enough. My bad. An egregious transgression of etiquette? Additionally, she claimed I lingered at her house, “When I realized [the guest] was still lingering, I asked him to leave,” but, as I quoted her above, she admitted to being okay “if you could leave prior to 5:00,” which I did.

The host also wrote “rides to/from the airport are not included or offered in our listing but you pestered my partner into driving you 20 miles across town.” Pestered her partner? Going back again to her and my 3:00 PM phone text, “I won’t be home in time to give you a ride. I apologize!”

She omitted the fact I stated I could also call Uber. She omitted I offered her the $20 for the service I was told Uber would have charged. There was no pestering. Moments after our phone text, and her demonstrating an openness to my offer, I walked into the house and made her partner the same offer just before the next guests walked in. As he checked in the new guests, I sat at their dining table waiting for his answer. When he finished with the guests, he offered to take me. If he had said no, I would still have had 2-3 hours to catch a ride with Uber or a taxi. I had no investment either way how I would have gotten to the airport. I thought I was being thoughtful with my offer.

The host added to her complaints, saying I was “creating a chaotic and uncomfortable situation” in her house. Her new guests, her partner, his brother, and I were all the people at the house. Five people. At other times it would be possible for her partner, his brother, their housemate, and his friends or relatives whose were staying there, along with the host and her son, to have all been at the house – four additional people. Somehow, I, as one person sitting quietly at her dining table was “creating a chaotic and uncomfortable situation?” I waited patiently for her partner to do a routine check-in, and then he gave me a lift to the airport – accepting my $20 payment. Easy-peasy. How was that “creating a chaotic and uncomfortable situation?”

In addition, she left out the fact that because the bedroom was so hot, even with windows open and fans going, I slept on top of the bed where the only attention for the room would have been to straighten the bedcovers – I had cleaned the room before leaving. I left a note for her saying as much.

It appears that despite any effort on my part, the host glossed over if it might show I was not the “unpleasant,” “entitled and disrespectful,” “pestering,” “lack[ing] etiquette” and “lingering” guest she portrayed me. 
Considering her comments of me, perhaps I should have given a more frank telling of the condition of her house and my experiences with her. The house was a mess (I politely excused that, with her having a young son). The bathroom had the appearance of a college dorm bath being used with several people’s bath items strew about, crowding the sink and tub areas. I wrote only, “The bathroom was adequate, but in need of updating.”

I was shocked by her insulting accusations and other comments about my stay. I went back to her site to see what credibility there might have been in her numerous accusations… precious little. What I did discover was a photo of her bathroom only showing the toilet, excluding the tub. I believe this was an intentional deception on the host’s part to hide the bathtub from view – with good reason. The tub is the worst I’ve ever seen in a house. To that, I wrote only the bath is in “need of updating.”

I nearly chose not to shower because of the dark brown and grey-black stains where the finish had long worn off. It looked like a vat used for toxic chemicals that had worn off the finish. I wish I had taken photos to show I am not exaggerating. I’m surprised no one else had mentioned it in their reviews. I suspect it was left unsaid, just as I had left it unsaid, as an act of generosity as a guest.

It appears after all is said, her only issue with any legitimacy was that I did not call her before leaving my belongings at her house for a few hours. For that, she lashed out, maliciously lying, misrepresenting and berating my character and my actual behavior, all the while creating a fanciful fabrication of what my stay actually consisted.

I was willing to be graciously forgiving of her failings as a host and in my overall assessment of my stay. She suggested as her last comment to me, “Let this be a learning experience for each of us.” Indeed!

Posted in Guest Stories and tagged , , , , , , .

5 Comments

  1. Yeah, I don’t understand why these comments are so negative. The host and the place sound terrible, and at $28 a night it can’t be the best place. I would have liked to see the full review. I’ve stayed at 30 AirBnbs without an issue and I’ve never left reviews even of the worst places, but for the first time today a host refused to rent to me because they require things to be extremely tidy, as they said, and someone hinted I didn’t clean their room enough (wonder what I pay $100 cleaning fees for then). The host even asked all tenants to give them a $200 security deposit. Maybe I’ll revisit the idea of staying in real bed & breakfasts, or hotels.
    There is something to be said for doing business with professionals rather than amateurs.

  2. Hahaha, you poor thing. You took the time to write your complaint about the host berating you and the commenters are all stating you’re in the wrong.

    I don’t know. I just think that’s funny. Flexible check-out time sounds like flexible check-out time to me. As a host, you can pick a time to have them check out, or you can leave it blank, which means flexible.

    I do think you should have communicated with her about how long you would stay in her house that day while working on stuff, and you could have told her what time your flight is and that being the reason for your lingering ahead of time.

    Sounds like normal passive aggressive behavior from her, leaving you a bad review from the safety of the computer screen and letting all the negativity rip, while trying to remain hospitable in person…. Bad balance, for sure.

    I just moved and am about to host. I’m nervous, especially since AirBnb’s “smart pricing” has low-balled me by a good 30-50$ for peak ski-season weekend pricing. hmpf!`

  3. A flexible checkout according to Airbnb is 11.00.

    You didn’t check out at 11.00 a.m. You still were using her home you admit a full 6 hours later. And as you admit did so, because you felt you could get away with it as you thought they were at work.

    Sitting at her dining room doing your emails when her new guests arrived is not on.

    I would have been upset too. It wasn’t until 3 pm. that you notified her that you were still there and asked for a lift to the airport. Hosts are not a taxi service and perhaps they felt uncomfortable about declining your request.

    On average Airbnb contacts guests at least four times encouraging them to leave a review and I am sure you read reviews of the hosts home before you stayed so a little disengenuos to say you didn’t know about the system.

    If the hosts place was as awful as you say, why didn’t you do what Airbnb suggests and contact them within 24 hours of arrival to outline how it wasn’t as described and ask to cancel and get a refund. Rather than moaning about the state of the place after staying there for the whole period of your stay.

    You sound entitled to me.

  4. Just, wow … I am an occasional guest at different AirBNBs and reading your tale makes me glad I’m not a host! Based entirely on your own telling of the story, you are totally in the wrong. Your host must have the patience of a Saint! You clearly lack life skills and social awareness, so my recommendation is that you not travel at all.

  5. Totally siding with the host! Indeed, many hosts have full-time jobs and you were requiring full-time attention ‘quietly sitting at THEIR dining table’. Yeah right, stay in a hotel and book an Uber next time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *