My Wife Hosted our Home. Didn’t Tell Me

Back in 2016 my wife told me about Airbnb and said she would like to host our house. Nothing else was said until she was very adamant that we take off just to get away one weekend. When complications came up, she was forced to admit she had rented out our house “just to try it”. Well I was upset that she would do such a thing without telling me. We had a pretty serious discussion about my opinion, and her honesty.

Fast forward to 2017. She wanted to go on an extended weekend trip and I just could not because of work. Well she played hurt, then angry. On Friday she said, “Well, let’s just stay at a local motel.”

I thought that was pretty odd and she gave all kinds of excuses to be out of the house. Finally she admitted she had booked our house for the weekend. I was furious she did this again. This time I asked her to let me have access to her account and I found three more bookings in the next two months.

I wrote Airbnb explaining the situation and they said they couldn’t help me because I wasn’t on the account. “It’s a problem between you and your wife,” they said.

“True,” I said, “But I own the home!”

When I asked if it would be their problem if I turned the guests away, they still said nothing. They would not get involved. After a heated argument and with guests arriving in the morning, I submitted to moving out for the weekend if she closed her account with Airbnb and cancelled all of her booked guests. She did and promised me she would always talk to me before making any decisions like that.

Fast forward to this weekend. Same story. “Let’s get away for the week” prefaced by furious house cleaning. I came to find out that she had not deleted her account and in fact booked our house for the weekend… and every weekend during the months of June and July and one in August. My whole summer is booked with me away from our lake home.

I am stunned. I am calling Airbnb on Monday but I can guess their answer. My options? Refuse to let the guests in or maybe try and contact them and give them warning? Airbnb won’t get involved.

Staying in this Airbnb was like a Mental Institution

At first glance, this Airbnb seemed really nice and friendly. Then we went to stay at it, actually looked at the house, and realized it’s a mental institution. To book the room my boyfriend had to give references; while the host called them, she blocked my boyfriend from seeing her page and gave him a full refund for the stay.

She called his boss and everything checked out… maybe because we’re normal people. So why did she do this? Because he had a review of five stars, but said we were a little loud the first night, so she said that his review wasn’t stellar. First off, this lady was completely rude and unwelcoming to my boyfriend and me when we first got there. She told my boyfriend that we could come to the house earlier than the check in so we could park our car there. We had a concert to go to; my boyfriend paid for us to go to Tumble Down festival that weekend.

Anyhow, we parked our car, checked out the backyard super quick and then boom, this lady appeared… when she told my boyfriend she’d be working all day. Anyways, she left us real fast saying she had a children’s play to go to. He and I went to walk around Nurlington to wait for our friends who were showing up before we entered the festival. We went and bought these special limited edition #plumpciders that Twiddle created with another brewery, got something to eat, and went back to the house to drop the ciders off in my car so we didn’t have to walk around with them (plus the festival wouldn’t let us in with those).

This is where we met the host again… did she just drive around the block and wait for us to leave to come back to the house? Anyways, super unwelcoming again. We bought her cupcakes from a bakery in Massachusetts, she did not take them from me so I awkwardly put them on a table. She then asked us if we knew she lived there full time… we didn’t because it wasn’t in the ad that she was so crazy about us reading (my boyfriend and I both read it multiple times).

She then ridiculed us because we had asked her two questions: whether she had a fridge (wasn’t in the pictures and also wasn’t listed in the ad at the time under appliances when everything else was) and whether she had AC (wasn’t listed in the ad and she didn’t after all). After this terribly uncomfortable conversation we left and went to the festival. Our friends were there (who did walk into the house and scared the host, although we did say to call us when we got there; it was a little miscommunication).

The festival was no entry so we had to fight to get our tickets back, which we did because the box office people were very nice. We left the festival and went to the brewery right across the street to read a message from the host saying this might not be the right fit for her (meaning to stay at her house). Now, fearful we might not have a place to stay we messaged back apologizing for the miscommunications. We grabbed our friends and met up with her at the house for check in at 7:30. I knocked on the door; this scared her and she said she needed three more minutes.

Thirty minutes later she came out with wine and glasses for us to “hang out” and give us a tour of the house… when she knew we had a concert to go to. This all took about an hour if not more, extremely rude. Now the house was odd but cute at first. It was nothing like the pictures because she rearranged everything to block off certain rooms and half of a room. Whatever, we could deal with that.

That night we didn’t get to go to the concert due to rain by the time we got down there (money wasted), so we went back to the house, cracked open a beer and begin to hang out. I picked up a magnet from her fridge. The first one I touched said “paranoid”. Now, I know I may have overreacted at first, but this magnet came after I was looking at her fridge reading her lists that look like an anxiety attack; all to our own I suppose, but it freaked me out.

I went into the cabinet to grab a glass and there were also notes. Which I have pictures of, they are crazy: “fascination w/ gone (my fam) LYING…” (this one was super weird because she showed us a picture of her dead grandmother that she painted on her wall. In the picture it said something like ‘granny looking GOOD’), “unscrambled egg, sock”, “path our of adversity, after patio”, “DOUBT!!!!!”, “Not allowed to be….”, and more. However, those are the only pictures I have to show.

Then we found multiple books that were all pretty dark: “Masters of Deception”; “Something Wicked This Way Comes”, just two of the many to paint a nice picture. Now we move to the paintings. I mentioned the dead grandma one; let’s go to the upstairs one. On the ceiling wall was a beautiful one of a cat and a woman. On the one across from the bed we saw the word ‘worry” inside it. The painting was set up with 2-3 weird red gooey looking dripping blotches (maybe to resemble blood). The rest of the walls were painted white, but painted white to cover up some other paintings.

Let’s move to the best painting of them all, the downstairs living room painting. This one should be framed in the welcome lobby of that hotel from “American Horror Story – Hotel”. It would fit very well there. This painting looked very normal, but when you’re up at 12:30 AM, your friends have gone to sleep, and you’re a little buzzed from the beer you had, you begin to just stare at things, and I looked at this one. What words did I find? “Bleed out”, “boogeyman”, “dare”, “how”, “are”, “the”. They were strategically placed. It makes one think what sentences are in this painting.

Anyway, I was not feeling comfortable at all. How could anyone after the meeting with her, all these discoveries, and now an eerie feeling of just dark and extreme sadness in this hellhole? My stomach was killing me and my boyfriend’s chest was hurting. After trying to fall asleep, my body wouldn’t let me. Research how your body reacts in dangerous or uncomfortable places; it’s an instinctive reaction.

My boyfriend and I drove to the nearest Walmart parking where we found comfort; my stomach stopped hurting, as did his chest. We still could not sleep though. We waited until 4:00 AM came and drove to the Courtyard Marriott. The man working that night heard our story, saw how disheveled we looked, felt bad and booked us the last room they had because there was a cancellation.

He tried to give us the discounts he could, including the AAA one. He said check in would be at 1:00 PM. I couldn’t make it until then with no sleep and I couldn’t sleep in that damn house, so he said to call at 7:00 AM, ask for a certain lady and tell them that a room was blocked off for us by him. We drove back to the house and waited in the car until the sun rose, went inside and then at 7:00 AM we called and found that we were able to check in at 10:00 AM.

Our friends woke up at 7:30 AM and we went about our day… with no sleep. Well, our friends fell asleep upstairs without knowing about our adventure, until we showed them everything. My boyfriend and I went to the hotel room that day, slept for an hour or so, showered, met up with our friends and went to lunch. We told them they could stay with us that night; we had a two bedroom that was comfier and felt a lot safer.

That night we went to the concert, and went back to the house. Have you ever walked in somewhere and your heart started beating fast? Maybe I was a little anxious; I’m not a doctor so I don’t know what it was. We grabbed all of our things and went to the hotel room. We left that morning. You think that would be the end of the story, right?

The host texted my boyfriend asking if we had made the beds because they were so nicely made. He didn’t answer because he wanted no further contact about it. She continually texted him over and over asking about these beds… I just wanted her to wash the sheets and leave us alone.

The weekend to stay there cost us about 450ish dollars plus the $220 to stay at the hotel. Rightly so, my boyfriend wanted a refund for the second day because we didn’t stay at the house because if we wanted to have an experience like the movie 13 Ghosts we probably would have camped at Dudley Town… I guess we weren’t feeling it that weekend.

Airbnb refused our refund because we didn’t have proof that we didn’t stay. I called the hotel and the front desk lady emailed the receipt to me that we did stay there; however, my boyfriend didn’t want to peruse this anymore. You’d understand if you tried calling Airbnb; they’re awful with customer service. Check out Airbnb Hell if you’d like. They have plenty of stories on that website.

Anyhow, this begs the question, “why are you posting this then?” This lunatic decided to wait until the last day you can make a review to give us a horrible review on Airbnb, which other employees can see and help to make their decisions as to if we could stay at their house. This was very dirty on the host’s part. My boyfriend and I had decided we wouldn’t blow her spot up on the Internet, then this happened and well… we’re angry.

There you have it. I know I did a horrible job painting this picture of how uncomfortable this house was, and maybe some of you think that we were being overdramatic. Airbnb likes to use the word “subjective”. For those who know me, I’m not an overdramatic person nor am I a scaredy cat; but that house turned me into the biggest little bitch ever and I don’t think a refund for the night we did not stay there is a bad thing to ask for. Here is the link to the house.

Host Discriminates Against Guests’ Dietary Needs?

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My name is Ryan Lobo and I am an author, filmmaker, TED Talk speaker, and photographer based in India. I am writing to you because I believe that I have been discriminated against due to my Indian ethnicity by a host in Almaty, Kazakhstan. I had inquired with this host about renting his apartment in Almaty for my wife, child and myself and requested a discount as we were taking it for 20 days. My wife is of Russian ethnicity and I am Indian, evident from our photographs.

The host wrote me immediately, saying that Indian food or spices are strictly not allowed in his apartment and asked for an extra deposit/amount from me which he would return after ‘inspecting’ the apartment if I were to take the place. As far as I know, Airbnb’s terms state that people cannot be discriminated against or charged extra based on national origin/race and additional charges or deposits cannot be placed on them.

The host then declined my inquiry when I told him that I do not eat Indian food and requested to know why he was charging me extra. Do please look into this as I believe Airbnb is supposed to be inclusive and non-discriminatory. I have flagged the post.

Checkout Hour Drama, Trying to Pull Something?

I booked a couple with no reviews. I have booked folks with no reviews before and usually everything goes very well. After they showed up at 12:30 AM to check in (I do not have 24-hour check in), the woman mentioned to her partner that the place looked too nice, almost like it would have been a problem running something by me because the place wasn’t a dump. I stood there and observed carefully their interaction as they arrived.

The gentleman then left at 1:00 AM and returned at 10:00 AM the next day to slam the door as hard as a human being can slam a door. I gulped. I sat there saying to myself, “you wanted to be a host, here you go…”

They then hibernated in the room after that; they hardly went to the bathroom or out for food. Another thing that was odd since people dont come to New York City to hibernate for two days. They went to their alleged wedding and showed up at 5:00 AM. Checkout is at 11:00 AM.

At one hour before checkout, the guy said: “Hi there. Can I talk to you? Is it okay if we stay here untill our flight leaves? We would have to sleep in the airport and don’t really know when the flight leaves. We still haven’t seen the city at all and would love to go to the Statue of Liberty.”

Mind you it was one hour before checkout. I said, “Well, you can stay until 3:00 PM.” Then the little voice in my head said, “You do know if you let them stay past their checkout time without a paid reservation you will probably need the police to get them out of your house?”

I knocked on their door again and said, “I just spoke to Airbnb and they told me I would have legal problems if I allow you to be here past the checkout time since another guest is coming in.” I knew there was no guest coming that evening, but I wanted to be polite and very firm.

Then he said, “But you are the host. I thought I would come talk to you instead of going through the site.”

“You didn’t come to me to make a reservation. You used Airbnb to contact me and book for you. We don’t have anything else to talk about; everything has to go through Airbnb.”

The woman inside the room farted. They placed a call to someone and said, “My wife is nervous about this.” My walls are paper thin and I can hear air as it moves. I was now in the kitchen and they were leaving. He dropped his suitcase, nervous as can be. I shook their hands and said, “I totally apologize for not being able to help you stay past checkout, but it’s hard to do that between reservations.”

They left, and the door closed behind them. I wonder if telling the next hosts these scam artists are worth dealing with. I have no idea what type of a review they might leave me, but in all honestly, I trully dont care. He never looked me in the face as he asked me if they could stay past checkout.

Creepy Experience at Airbnb in Chicago on New Year’s Eve

My boyfriend and our other friends decided to go to Chicago for four days. We rented a single room near the north side. Our first hosts were this lovely male gay couple. That is until one specific night when my boyfriend and I decided to take a regular shower. All of a sudden we heard aggressive knocking coming from the door. One of the hosts began belligerently accusing us of causing “thousands of dollars in damage” he then proceeded to uninvitingly investigate the bathroom while my boyfriend (still naked) hid frantically behind the door. At this point we were both scared and confused because he had no rules over showering times. He went back down to the basement part of the home (where he and his boyfriend were staying) and said “whatever it was stopped” and reverted back to a fake smile whilst saying some dismissing thing like “Happy New Year’s. Enjoy your night.” After the whole ordeal was over we were all scared to shower and didn’t do so until the last day, out of necessity.

Quiet Escape for Motorcyclist Writer is Anything But

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I’m done with Airbnb. I’ve done two extended stay vacation trips, one to New Mexico and, now, one to Thunder Bay, Ontario. Three of the five places I’ve stayed were excellent. Two were disasters; both of the awful “hosts” were older, single women. Both places were somewhat honestly described and priced about normal for equivalent facilities (including hotels) in the area. Honestly, I could have found decent, downtown hotel rooms with about the same accommodations for the price I paid for the Airbnb rentals. Looking at Hotels.com, I discovered I could have done as well in Thunder Bay and been walking distance from Lake Superior, downtown, and had a window.

After extracting ourselves from our New Mexico Airbnb disaster, I did find a really nice one-bedroom apartment for about 2/3rds of the Airbnb monthly rental price. It had a far better location and came with an all-access pass to a hot springs spa. I am a motorcycle rider and I’ve travelled all over North America and a good bit of western Mexico on a variety of motorcycles for the last 50 years. I have taught motorcycle safety classes for the last 17 years. I’ve owned motorcycles for most of my 70 years and have parked motorcycles on about every kind of surface imaginable without ever having a problem.

When I arrived in Thunder Bay for a week’s stay, I met the owner in her driveway. She suggested I park my motorcycle in an area to the side of her driveway so she could get her car out in the morning for work. I moved it to where she suggested. I’d ridden about 450 miles from home to Thunder Bay that day and was beat. So, I parked the bike, unloaded my stuff, and settled into the room for the night. Thanks to the plastic covered mattress, I got about two hours of uncomfortable sleep before I gave up and moved to the couch.

The next day, I loafed in the apartment and backyard for most of the day and hiked about a mile to a grocery store and to check out the immediate area. When I got back, I put away the groceries, made a late lunch for myself, and a little later I went out to the motorcycle to make it more secure for the next evening. I discovered that the side-stand had sunk about an inch into her driveway. The bike was leaning precariously, so I moved it a little and put the bike up on the center stand. This isn’t a big or a heavy motorcycle: 450 pounds, wet and loaded. It was late, almost dark, and I planned to talk to the host about the driveway damage in the morning.

I went back to the apartment to do some work. About 10:00 PM, the following exchange showed up via email: “Your bike has damaged my new driveway. Can you please put the plywood under your bike stands. It cost me $7000.00 for new driveway and don’t have funds to repair it.” This was followed by: “The asphalt is new… still sensation [sic] to weight and sharp objects. I am upset that you would ignore not telling me it happened and when I knocked on door to address the issue you ignored my knock. I leaned a plywood sheet against your bike so you can either put the sheet under the kick stands or possibly park it on the street. I will call the contractor tomorrow to provide an estimate on repairing. Hopefully he can reheat and level again. But I know there will be an expense to it. Please refrain from doing bike repairs on the driveway. As I said the asphalt is new and still very soft.”

I replied: “I’m sorry I missed you at the door. I’m trying to do that writing thing I mentioned when I got here and had headphones on, so I didn’t hear you. I wouldn’t ignore you and I’m sorry you think that’s who I am. Maybe this week isn’t going to work for either of us. I didn’t want to bother you with the driveway until I saw you next. If you had told me the driveway was new I might have thought to suggest a better place for me to park. It’s not like making it into an emergency would change either of our evenings. I apologize for the trouble. I have a lot of experience parking motorcycles and I have never seen a new or old driveway fail like that at 75 F. I had no way to predict it would happen.”

I dressed and went out in a rain storm to move the bike to the ¼” plywood she had leaned against my motorcycle. The next day, she seemed apologetic and I thought the weirdness had passed. She asked me how I’d slept and I told her the plastic-covered mattress was uncomfortable and I’d spent most of the night on the couch. She allowed that I could remove the plastic, which made the next night tolerable.

The “suite” she advertised was a small basement apartment, with the bathroom in a shared hallway. There were two tiny windows, one in the kitchen and one in the bedroom, but neither will open. Cooking smells stayed in the room for hours. The kitchen was well-equipped and functional. The backyard had a nice semi-private area, which could have been an excellent place to write during the day. However, there were nearby neighbors who eliminate any feeling of privacy. My first day out there, I answered the “whatcha doin’?” question four times, when someone looked over the fence after hearing me typing on my computer. I quit and read a book for the rest of the afternoon.

Three days later, at about 9:00 PM, I received the following email, via Airbnb’s server: “I had the paving company come by to give me estimate on heating and leveling the kick stand hole and it will cost $250.00. We need to discuss in person on payment options for repair. He will drop off a written quote tomorrow in mailbox.”

My reply to that was: “Julie, I’m in the apartment now, if you want to discuss this. However, I parked where you suggested. You did not warn me that the asphalt was either new or soft when I arrived. I had no way of knowing that your drive way would be different than any of the thousands of places I’ve parked a motorcycle over the last 50 years. Personally, I suspect your contractor used less aggregate than ideal for a strong surface. I’m no expert, but it’s pretty obvious that there isn’t much aggregate showing in the drive. The other side of not knowing the drive was not a stable place to park is that the failure of the surface integrity was about to allow my motorcycle to fall into your pavers, which would have caused a lot more damage to the motorcycle than $250. Monday’s high temperature was 24 C/75 F, hardly high enough to expect that sort of pavement failure under anything resembling normal conditions. The important aggregate qualities for your asphalt paving project are durability and angularity (fractured faces). To get the strongest pavement structure, larger aggregates are used for the base, with successively smaller dating sites reviews aggregates used for upper layers in the pavement. However, it’s also true that new asphalt driveways are supposed to be kept from everything from bicycle kickstands to high heeled shoes for as long as a year [I didn’t know that until I looked it up yesterday]. You’ll need to put a sign where anyone using that driveway can see it if you want to avoid future damage.”

Of course, she did not take me up on my offer to discuss her driveway problem in person. That evening, I’d decided my Airbnb experiences were a draw. Three out of five decent experiences is not good enough. If I were to use Airbnb again, I feel that I’d have to use what are obviously sexist filters for any hosts I’d consider renting from. It’s not worth the hassle or the moral issues. After discussing this experience with my wife over the phone, she decided that we’re just going to avoid the whole experience by cancelling our Airbnb account, which she did that evening. As for the Thunder Bay rental, I’d paid for Sunday to Sunday, seven days, but when we had a plumbing emergency at home Thursday night, I decided to pack it up either Friday morning and call it a wash. I’m a big believe in avoiding the Sunk Cost Fallacy and that writing getaway turned into a general gumption trap. In three days, I managed one good day of writing and two days of agonizing over BS with the host. I’d rather be home, wrestling with figuring out how to negotiate quiet periods with my wife or finding an office to rent than fooling with this stuff. Airbnb proved to be more of an unreliable hassle than a viable alternative to hotels and motels.

Airbnb Guest Has Few Valid Complaints, Plenty of Disrespect

I had a guest who is actually from across town in Halifax. She stayed at one of my properties for two nights. She arrived by bus and went to my neighbour’s house by mistake. She had a very powerful personality and I think she was upset or insulted when I went out to do my yoga, work, and meet with friends. She used all of my toilet paper in two nights. I hope it was just in her bag and not in my drains. She complained about my towel detergent and all her illnesses and sensitivities. I asked for her passport, as I noticed my listing somehow had the validation restriction lifted. She was very upset. I explained the Airbnb website asked to show ID.

Then she commented on my insulating plastic wrap on my china cabinet handles. This is my house and I have this cabinet for my china. There are plenty of dishes to use for my guests in the kitchen. What concerns me now is the long letter she wrote over nothing; it was a personal attack on me and my character. I have not experienced this disrespectful behaviour from any guest. She was so overbearing. I am afraid to write a comment about her and feel she will definitely downgrade my rating due to her own unhappiness. What do I do? I am getting my lock changed at a cost of $117, as I feel this lady was so unbalanced. She wrote about a towel that she was concerned about but that is minor. I told her not to worry about it; there were only three there. I usually put four but I could read her aggressive energy and just wanted her out. I offered to give her a lift in my car, in a diplomatic way. This was a guest from hell. I lost money to host her, but learned my listing validation was turned off.

Accurate Listing of Property, Inaccurate Description of Host

My wife and I went to visit our son and daughter-in-law in Portland, OR and wanted to spend a month there with our small dog. First, I want to say that the house listing and description were spot-on accurate. The house was exactly as described, the host allowed pets, and the wireless and cable TV were provided as per her listing. The neighborhood was perfect, so what could go wrong, right?

We arrived after a two-day drive from Phoenix and Jeannie was there to greet us. We had rented the entire house, which Jeannie assured us in numerous texts and emails would be ours. She even provided gluten-free muffins for me, knowing I had an allergy. Unfortunately, the bottom floor was occupied by a friend of hers with an extremely aggressive dog that tried to attack my dog, and was not particularly friendly to my wife or me. Since the laundry was downstairs, this could prove to be a problem.

The basement apartment was accessible by a different entrance, but there was no lock on the door between that stairway and the kitchen. Our host told us we could install one if we wanted. Jeannie was also living in her garage at the time. My definition of “entire house” does not include sharing with two other people. I raised the issue with her, and she claimed she never promised us complete privacy. I showed her the emails, and she says I misread them. There was also some renovation scheduled so she could “legalize” the basement apartment. She did tell me an electrician was coming, but an electrician and renovation are two different stories.

My son met us at the house with his wife and spoke with our host as well. She basically propositioned him in front of his wife, explaining she was a teacher who lead a boring life. My wife was very uncomfortable, which Jeannie picked up on. She texted me and I suggested we meet face to face rather than text. When I went to meet with her, she was wearing a wide mesh top with nothing underneath. I am not comfortable speaking with a woman who is not my wife who is also basically topless. That was the end for me. I called Airbnb, who listened, and were merely sympathetic until I got to the topless conversation. That was over the line for them. They told me to pack and leave immediately, which we did.

They tried to find other listings and offered me three other options, which were all three times what I was paying now (so not affordable). We finished the week in a Residence Inn and drove home. I eventually got half my money refunded (a very expensive single-night stay) and the reservation was listed as cancelled so I couldn’t leave a review. I am amazed that Airbnb lets this listing remain up. You will see another complaint very similar to mine which remains on the site. At the time, my son was the executive chef at a popular restaurant in the Alberta Arts district. His sous chef, who is a 6’2″ tall transsexual with head to toe tattoos remarked to our son that even by Portland standards “that woman is bats$*t crazy!” Guess it wasn’t just us.

Chilean ID isn’t Enough to use Airbnb in Chile?

I have used Airbnb many times before, but now I am surprised to see that they have asked for ID verification. After supplying images of both my government ID and Chilean driver’s license, the site said that these types of documents are not valid in their system… after they specifically asked for them. I am residing in Chile and looking for an Airbnb rental in Chile. Why wouldn’t they accept a Chilean ID? This brings me into a neverending loop where I cannot book anything, making Airbnb in Chile unfeasible. I might as well permanently stop using Airbnb, since I can’t reserve anything. Add to that, there’s no real way of contacting anybody to get this fixed. What a slap to the face for customers.

Received Airbnb Texts and I’m not a Member

About two days ago, starting at 5:00 AM, I got a text from an unknown number with a prefix of “Airbnb:”. Since then, about three times an hour, I have received similar texts. I almost immediately tried the standard return text, “STOP”, but I got a message back every time that basically told me they don’t have my number on file. Then why did I receive the texts? Each of those return texts have a link to their website to edit a user account. I don’t even have an account. Don’t they confirm phone numbers before sending out massive amounts of texts. Don’t they confirm phone numbers before they give them to hosts to correspond with guests? In my searching, they don’t seem to have an email for customer support, and I’d really prefer not to make an account just to get my phone number off their text list. Wish me luck!