My host planted surveillance cameras in at least one area. I am posting my original review, the host’s review, and my response. When I first arrived I took photos of the guest facilities as they were a mess, and stank. I had the sense that I was being watched during my entire stay, including in the bathroom. There is an area that he calls a kitchen but there was no new dining room table, and no cooking utensils or appliances other than a coffee maker that I used. I placed their large cup underneath it in case of further dripping and threw my coffee filter in the trash. I sat and ate lunch at a wooden table for twenty minutes and there was no leakage, no water or coffee damage when I left. Perhaps one of the other two guests spilled the coffee I was blamed for? The important point is his admission of checking the camera to note the time that I was in the kitchen. Does this mean I was monitored in my room and the restroom? A surveillance camera is a violation of my privacy and constitutional rights in a private setting. Here is the review that I left: “Peaceful, quiet and comfortable with many perks!”
I said more positive things but for some reason they’ve disappeared. Here are the host’s remarks:
“We would not host Jerry again, even though his other reviews were great. Jerry was polite upon arrival, but that’s the only thing he had going for him. With over 60 guests we’ve had in our home, he’s been the first guest we’ve had to call Airbnb to document a complaint about. He’s also the first guest that’s made us question continuing being hosts. He originally booked two nights, Wednesday and Thursday.
Arriving home Thursday after work to clean between my two jobs, I could only smell a strong coffee odor. I came to find out an entire cup of coffee had been spilled over the brand new kitchen table, down the side, and all over the hardwood floor with zero effort to clean it up, despite Clorox wipes and paper towels being two feet away. We looked back at the camera footage to confirm he spilled the coffee around 3:00 PM that day and got up and left it there. Up in the bathroom, soap had been poured all over the bathtub floor, causing a slipping hazard. It took a while to clean that up. I went to check the hamper in the room for towels. The hamper was half full of garbage, which ended up staining the brand new cloth hamper. Even though there’s a trash can provided right outside the bedroom door, in the dining room, and a third one by the garage, he chose to use the hamper. Instead of using it for towels, he just tossed them on the floor despite them being damp. He left the lights on 24/7 and even took our entire roll of Clorox wipes into his room without permission. I had the bathroom clean when I left for my second job. I came back to a filthy bathroom again, with toothpaste spit all in the sink and on the floor. A huge puddle of water was also on the floor that I had to clean at 11:00 PM. Friday, checkout day, he waited until 3:00 PM to checkout. Since our next guest arrived at 1:30 PM, we had to place him in a room that wasn’t meant for him. Jerry thought he’d booked for Friday night as well but had not and left upon the realization he’d accidentally booked one day too few, complaining about having to now book a hotel. After checkout we found half a dozen towels, hand towels, and wash cloths used for only a two-night stay. We only charge $30 per night to help travelers out and to help with our renovations of our new home, but his stay has cost us much more than what we made due to the damaged hamper, and ruined kitchen table that was brand new two months ago. Hopefully our hardwood floors will be fine. I work too hard to have my home treated so poorly. If he books again, I plan to ask Airbnb to cancel it.”
Finally, my response:
“Wow, I’m shocked! I wish Staunton had said something to me about all this. First, regarding toothpaste spit? I don’t have toothpaste at all. I noticed the towels being used by two friends of his that stayed one or two nights. I figured there was a shortage of towels. I did try to make coffee but only got half a cup. I did not notice any spills and I put the used filter in the trash. Maybe he’s talking about another guest? I gave him a great rating out of kindness as he’s new to the business and I overlooked a lot of inconveniences, e.g. the smell of animals in the house, no small refrigerator for personal use, no way to boil water for tea or coffee, no way to lock your room in spite of three guest rooms and finally the inconvenience of three guests/strangers using one small bathroom. The home itself was in disarray, the front yard was growing weeds and the parking was too tight. I did mistake the length of my stay but apologized profusely to his partner for the error and made no complaint regarding finding a motel room for Friday night. Based on his inaccurate and hostile comments I wouldn’t recommend this not-so-private Airbnb to anyone. By the way, I called Staunton on Friday to see if an extra night was available as he had told me originally that after Wednesday I’d be his only guest. He sent a cryptic note that he was at work and too busy to talk. This has been an unfortunate experience, the only such one since I began using Airbnb. Staunton should have talked with me about his grievances before going off on me after my kindness to him in my rating.”
A brief review: At my age of 74, I am compulsively clean:
1. I hang my towels up to dry. His guests threw theirs on the floor.
2. I do not use toothpaste as I have dentures. I noticed the toothpaste spit from the other guests. I don’t clean up after other guests.
3. Soap naturally sinks to the bottom of the tub when washed from your body.
4. Three guests for one bathroom is too much, especially with only two towel racks. I kept a dry towel in my room in order to have one when I needed it.
5. My room was not cleaned once during my stay.
6. There was no communication that anything was wrong.
7. I apologized profusely to Staunton’s cleaning man for the late checkout and my confusion about booking dates. I at no time complained about having to get a motel room.
8. There was a tiny trashcan in the bathroom that was full. There was no trashcan in my room.
9. I am totally offended by this young man and his hostile review. This has become a nightmare that I will not repeat. His review and the surveillance camera are unacceptable and deceitfully full of allegations harmful to my good standing with Airbnb with which I am now done with unless they take action in admonishing this young man.
This has ruined me to Airbnb. They are not available to hear or follow up on complaints. They need to investigate this particular listing for the surveillance cameras and take them off their site.
The host has contacted me again and is now saying my coffee grounds ruined his coffee maker. He also saw a host in Darlington on my wish list and he has contacted her warning her about me. Is this legal? He also tried to message me on Facebook. Here is his latest email:
I wanted to take a moment to message you in response to your comment left on the review. Fortunately no one can see your inaccurate response from my end. I just wanted to address some things in your response. You stated you didn’t have toothpaste, but Thursday night you were the only guest that had been there between my cleaning of the bathroom at 5:30 PM and when the next guest that arrived that night whom I personally greeted. Before their arrival is when I found a blue paste (maybe not toothpaste, but some blue goo) spit in the sink and on the carpet. Meaning no other guest could have done that between my two cleanings. As for the spill, I’m not sure how you didn’t see that since the entire table was covered, as well as the river of coffee that had ran down the side and onto the floor. Again, that was between my lunch break cleaning at 12:30 PM and my evening cleaning at 5:30 PM. You were the only one there between those hours since my two uncles and partner were all gone before 10:30 AM. I do apologize for your “inconveniences” due to the animal smell even though we’ve had several reviews, including one that stated “warm, cozy, and smelled like a resort” along with other praises on how nice our rooms smell since we keep fragrances plugged in all throughout the house. Even though the smell of dog would still be expected in a listing that states dogs live inside the home, even though we bathe her frequently. Though she’s never allowed outside the bedroom unless she’s going out the back door so she’d never be in the guest portion of the home, ever, and never has been even since moving into the home.
The next day after you left, we noticed you’d used the Keurig with raw coffee grinds which ruined a $100+ machine, since they’re meant for coffee pods only. A mini fridge was provided for your use, as well as our large, empty fridge in the kitchen. Airbnb’s typically don’t provide a mini fridge in every single room, as we are not a hotel. In the kitchen, you’d have also found ways to boil water in a pot on the stove so that’s incorrect too. We also had several notes posted in the room and our listing stating that we provide room keys so that you can lock your door anytime, but you never once asked for a room key despite it being mentioned in three places and expressed verbally. As for the inconvenience of sharing the bathroom, you could read the following on our listing: “We have two other rooms listed along with this one. If other guests have booked those rooms the same night as your stay, the bathroom would be shared.” The bathroom has a lock as well as your bedroom. We get last^minute bookings daily, sometimes as late as 3:00 AM. So if I told you we’d have no guests Wednesday night, obviously that could change at any minute. Also, you’ll have to excuse the weeds in the yard as I work eight jobs and haven’t had time to cut the grass since my cousin committed suicide recently after her father had an accident, and I’ve been too busy tending to family matters to bother with weeds in the yard. You also stated you called me Friday, but I never received a phone call from you. Only a message asking me to call. And I responded saying I was at work and could not talk. I’m unsure how that could count as cryptic since it was just a few words and stated the obvious: 1) At work. 2) Can’t talk until 5:00.
I also see you have a place in Darlington on your wishlist, a home that the woman who actually referred me to Airbnb owns, so I’ve sent her an email with fair warning. I’m sorry you had an unfortunate experience, and I’m just as sorry for how insulted and abused we felt in our home with the constant messes. I should have brought my concerns up to you, but working so many jobs the only thing I can do in my spare time is clean between guests and then I’m right back out the door to my next job. I only even remember seeing you just once during your stay. I’m sure you’re a fantastic person, as I can tell from your other three reviews and how friendly you were at check-in, but unfortunately we just had our first horrible experience and were upset with how the house was treated. Unfortunately I didn’t get to know you very well and was only left seeing bad things, and that saddens me. I want to assure you that I’m a Superhost for a reason; this past week has just been a long and upsetting week for me. I wish you the best in all of your future travels.
What are my legal rights on Airbnb, or do I need to get an attorney involved?