Taking Advantage of Shared Economy: Airbnb in Paris

Let’s start at the beginning. I put my commentary here because the Airbnb website only allows five hundred words, clearly not enough to describe my experience. At my arrival, the host complained all the time about the big bag I had. It was my third week holidaying in France with one week at Guédelon and one week climbing in Marseille so yes… I had a big bag with lots of stuff inside. I had to insist not leaving my bag outside.

The apartment was small, smaller than 25 square meters. The host just rounded the number on Airbnb (for legal reasons, probably). At my arrival (more or less midday), nothing was ready. He hadn’t cleaned the room. I told him I would take a tour in Paris so he had time to clean (but after my bag was already inside).

After my tour, I came back to the apartment and saw the host watching TV. The problem was that the TV was in the bedroom where I must sleep and he was sitting in the kitchen. This is why there was no door; he could watch TV through the wall. It’s not a charming thing to see from a host. It was impossible to sleep without his consent (and after two weeks of playing sports and working under the sun, yes, you want to sleep a little). I had to wait until “his majesty” wanted to stop watching TV to have any rest.

It wasn’t even a room; there was no door. He could just come and go anytime he wanted. There was no privacy at all. The sofa was broken. He didn’t repair it; he just put a wooden board under the mattress, meaning it was a horrible night for my back. The host also complained every time I sat on it because… the board could break? He just slept in front of the main door, meaning it was impossible to go out without his agreement or any major evacuation. Or simply impossible to get water during the night or go to the bathroom without annoying him.

The host was not nice. He always complained about everything. For example, As I said, I had a big bag with stuff from my old trip (Guédelon and climbing) meaning there was a smell coming from my bag (I can understand). After an hour speaking with him, even him telling me the smell was coming from me, he just freely insulted me. Funnily enough, I closed my bag and the smell stopped. If the room had had a door, this could also have solved the problem.

The shower was disgusting; I thought I was in prison. There was no key on the door, and a big spider. There was also a cat. It was a cool cat but he slept on the bed and decided to sharpen his claws on my leg at 2:00 AM… that didn’t help me sleep.

After one night, it was impossible for me to stay longed. I looked for a room hotel (Ibis, Holiday Inn, etc.) but everything was full. I had no other choice but to take a ticket train to come back to Brussels (100 euro for the ticket). On the train, I asked the host to refund the money for the nights I didn’t stay via Airbnb. He refused and insulted me again (and probably will insult me again replying to this, as he did in the comments).

Some of his words were so surreal. For example, he said:

  • “If you didn’t find any hotel room in Paris, your mistake cost you 150 euro (An Ibis hotel room price).”
  • “I could find a room in a hotel when I decided to visit Paris, but someone just told me Airbnb was a cool experience.”
  • “Just look at your profile picture, I understand something’s wrong with you. Change it to improve your confidence.”

In conclusion, this host didn’t understand the Uberization and the philosophy of the shared economy. It’s just a guy with who said to himself “hey, I can make money with my crap.” I lost 277 euros (178 for the rent and 99 for the return train ticket) and had to accept that. I asked Airbnb for a case resolution (but honestly, I don’t believe in it). I also asked “Le Bureau de la Protection des Locaux d’Habitation” of Paris to check this guy out. I don’t have lots of experience doing this (or to see how to get my money back) but if someone can help me, please let me know.

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