I am currently traveling in Vietnam and decided to check my email, only to discover that I was apparently booked into an Airbnb in Bologna, Italy for the night that had just passed. Having just woken up, my enfeebled mind desperately weighed the possibility that I had somehow decided to ditch my wife in Asia and travel all the way to Europe to spend one night in Bologna – costing 500 euros – and then immediately close my Airbnb account. After a few minutes of wracking my mind it suddenly dawned on me that my account had probably been hacked.
After blocking my credit card I thought the next best thing would be to contact Airbnb and inform them. Easy, I thought. A big international company like Airbnb is bound to have state-of-the-art customer service with agents desperate to help me. I went to the site and was then told that I would need to log on to my account, the very account that had been closed down by my impersonator. No problem, I thought – perhaps I can phone them even though I am traveling with a pay-as-you-go card and ringing the US will be expensive. After several attempts, I gave up, tried to adopt a Buddhist attitude to the 500 euros I had just lost, and vowed never to use Airbnb again.