Threats and Lies from Horrible Guests

I wanted to take a moment to share our recent experience with Airbnb and explain why we will be deleting our listing and not renting our home. We are being threatened by a crazy guest who cancelled her reservation and was upset at the cancellation policy.

Someone named “Maygan” booked a reservation at our home for one guest. I accepted the reservation and began chatting with her through Airbnb messages. In these messages she informed me that there would be twelve people staying at the house. I informed her that our home only sleeps ten, but I could increase the maximum to twelve if she promised to take excellent care of our home. She agreed and thanked me.

When she made the change the price increased and I explained that there is an incremental increase in price for parties greater than four guests. Maygan is claiming that we are scammers because we charge more for a party of twelve than we do for a party of four. I disagree.

When I book properties through Airbnb as a guest I always make sure I put in the correct party size so that the system shows me accurate prices of places when I consider booking. Instead of thinking that we are charging more for larger parties, I prefer to think that we are offering a discounted rate to smaller parties.

Regardless, Maygan accepted the reservation change, which clearly shows the price changes. She then said she was going to check with the rest of her party to make sure everyone was still interested. Since it had been two days since the reservation was originally booked, Airbnb charged her card for the reservation she was booking.

Towards the end of the second day Maygan decided to cancel the reservation, but due to Airbnb’s cancellation policy, she was informed that she would not be getting a refund. At this point she apparently told her group that “the hosts went ahead and charged her credit card without authorization for the entire amount of the reservation.”

Maygan claims that it was a couple of hours from the time she booked until the time she cancelled. I wish that were the case, but unfortunately she booked in the early morning on 2/27 and cancelled in the evening on 2/28.

After this I was contacted by Airbnb and asked if I would refund Maygan’s money. Every single time a reservation had been cancelled up to this point, I have been asked by Airbnb to make an exception and refund the money… and I have always allowed it. This time I said I would refund the full amount if our home was able to re-book for the dates or I would refund half of the amount if I was unable to re-book for the dates.

I was traveling out of town that weekend for a baby moon, as we used IVF and surrogacy to (very expensively) get pregnant with twins. It is a month until they will be born and our soon-to-be children’s godparents decided to gift us a baby moon trip to rural Colorado.

It was a wonderful trip and upon arriving back home I received an Airbnb message from someone in Maygan’s group. This person created a fake spam account on Airbnb and messaged me to say that I was an unethical and evil person because I wouldn’t make an exception to the cancellation policy.

This person then said they posted our physical address, names and personal information on this site and others in the hope that other people would get angry. They said, “Who knows what other angry trolls will do to you.”

This person then threatened to get into our home somehow and plant lots of bedbugs in the beds, release full traps of deer ticks in the yard in the hopes that we would get Lyme disease, post fake items for sale on internet sites in the hopes of having lots of random strangers come to the house, etc.

This person then sent another message saying that they could see on the calendar that people would be at the house this weekend and they were going to “post an anonymous classified ad at the house while it was booked so dozens of people would show up looking for stuff… it will be an ordeal.”

At the end of this horrible message it ended with, “P.S. I enjoyed looking at your photos of the wedding in (LOCATION). The photographer did an excellent job. You too look really happy.”

Now this person is stalking me? I have reached out to law enforcement and was told that these threats could be considered criminal harassment and result in fines and a year in jail. Now, I don’t want it to go that far but it is nice to know that the law is on my side here

What I have proposed is that if Maygan provides the identity of the person threatening my property and family I will authorize Airbnb to refund all of her money. If something were to happen to my home or my family, I want to know the identity of the person that was threatening us.

I will update this but for now I am just awaiting Maygan’s response. I do think it’s a little ironic that someone is hiding behind a fake profile in order to threaten me and make my personal information public.

Posted in Airbnb Host Stories and tagged , , , , , .

6 Comments

  1. All great comments here, so I just want to add that criminal charges should be an option. Given how skilled this person is at stalking and finding ways to threaten you, it’s probably not isolated. There may be a lot of terrified, bullied people in his wake, or maybe in his future. Police contact sounds like a great idea to me. It creates a record in case he does it again. You can drop charges if he is sufficiently sorry.

  2. Agreed with all of the comments here. Both of these people violated Airbnb’s policies and Airbnb will terminate them. You didn’t do anything wrong. Shrug it off–this is business and keep it that way.

  3. This is scary & complicated:
    Hosts routinely charge for extra guests because each guest means additional utilities used, linens & sheets used & additional cleaning required. As a host, I learned the hard way after 2 horrible experiences, I don’t EVER exceed my stated maximum occupancy. I emphasize with your situation.

    1. Report this guest to Airbnb for the threats & trolling. Ask this guest to be banned from being able to contact you.
    2. Report the separate threatening account to Airbnb so Airbnb can shut it down because the Airbnb terms of service prohibits threatening or extortion.
    3. If you want to respond to the guest about the cancellation, tell them to contact Airbnb Customer Service.
    4. If a reservation is made at least 2 weeks & 2 days in advance, the guest can cancel within 48 with full refund including Airbnb fees. If she made the reservation less than 16 days in advance, she loses the opportunity to cancel outside of the host’s stated cancellation policy. Meaning if you have anything other than Flexible, she will forfeit part or all of her payment.

    It is wise for all guests to read the listing information fully and be aware of the cancellation policy before booking so there are no surprises.

    5. Please don’t refund Maygan for exposing who is making the threats. Airbnb can follow the bogus account back and see the identifications they have on file. Airbnb can provide you with that information. It may require a subpoena.

    Best wishes with this. The important thing is to stay safe.

  4. My advice: do not respond and do certainly NOT refund a penny. This kind of scaremongering always ends up where it belongs: the trash can…….

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