I thought I would share a recent Airbnb story which has made me decide I will never use the app again. My partner and I booked into a lovely place recently that was part of a series of different units. It had great reviews and was set in a beautiful setting.
When we arrived the place was well set-up and clean. The only issue was that there were quite a lot of cobwebs around, particularly around the windows and furniture —like a lot. My partner dutifully picked up the broom and began cleaning the place of cobwebs. Other than that, our stay was very enjoyable. We didn’t think it was a big deal to clean them up; we figured they may just have been missed in cleaning since properties are just opening up again after COVID-19 lockdowns.
After our stay we made sure that the place was clean and tidy and left a very positive public review on Airbnb. We received positive public feedback from our host who said we were wonderful and clean and would be happy to have us back. We did make use of the private feedback option, and just noted that there were a lot of cobwebs around appliances, corners, furniture, light fixtures and windows. We chose not to say this publicly because we really liked the place and just wanted to support them for the future.
Fast forward a few weeks later and we stayed again but in a different unit. Again, lovely place and looked clean, well-set up and beautifully designed, I actually liked this unit better than the first one. But there were cobwebs everywhere again. This time, however, there were also lots of spiders. I don’t mean just a couple of them or little ones. I mean big black nasty ones. I think we killed over 30 and they kept coming out of places. We cleaned up the cobwebs and kept trying to kill the spiders, but when they began dropping from the ceiling through cracks we just couldn’t manage it.
In the middle of dinner, we messaged our host saying we were having issues. The host turned up with their partner, and immediately accused us of lying. They said our private feedback about the cobwebs was a lie (it wasn’t) and accused us of lying again about the spiders and cobwebs in this place. At this point my partner got heated up and they began arguing and he showed her all the cobwebs we still hadn’t cleaned as well as all the spiders we had killed.
She continued to accuse us of lying and then began to say that we just weren’t the right people for the property. Multiple times we said we wouldn’t lie about something like this especially at 8:00 PM where we have nowhere else to go, and that we had used up two cans of spider spray already trying to kill them. She kept referring back to the private feedback and even printed it out to show us and say we were lying about cleaning up the cobwebs in the first place. She also kept saying that since no one else ever had a problem we must surely be lying.
We were so confounded. If she was that upset about private feedback why the hell would she book us again? Luckily her partner was very kind and wanted to help us, and enabled us to move to the property we first stayed in which was clean and spider free. The host, however, made it clear she didn’t want us there at all and I assume would have rather we left altogether. She ended up leaving the property and slamming the door behind her, and it was her partner who helped us out.
Our mistake? I’m guessing we should have taken photos rather than clean it up ourselves both times. We cleaned it up the first time because we figured it wasn’t a big deal to do so, but just left feedback about it. We should have also not cleaned the property at all the second time, and instead taken photos and messaged the host first and showed her where all the spiders and cobwebs were. We made the mistake both times of not taking photos. In our naivety, we didn’t realize how important that would be.
As a result, we haven’t made a report to Airbnb because we just don’t have any evidence at this stage, and just wanted to get out of there as soon as possible. I am just in shock by her behavior. We weren’t trying to cause trouble. We genuinely loved the place apart from this issue (who wants to sleep with spiders dropping on their head?), and our first public review of the place was overwhelmingly positive.
After this experience I won’t go near Airbnb. Hosts have way too much power, and I just couldn’t believe how she was yelling at us and accusing of us of lying. It was unbelievable.