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Airbnb host leaving malicious review because she disapproves of the paper DH reads...

(216 Posts)
BinDiesel Tue 13-Jun-17 00:55:38

NC for this for obvious reasons.

Went to stay at an Airbnb last week. All fine, no problems we were made aware of while we were there. It was a quiet family holiday with children. So no music played, no visitors, no excessive noise or drunkenness etc.

We left a really positive review despite a few niggling concerns like finding a pair of (dirty) boy's underpants left by the previous guests as we thought it was a genuine oversight and didn't want to be petty.

The day after we left we received an absolutely inexplicable review from the owner which basically implied that we had trashed her house and behaved appallingly while staying. She said she would need to do an entire day's cleaning to get her house back in order and that we'd broken all her house rules. In her private feedback she admits that actually we overlooked one dirty pan, left a small ketchup mark on a sheet (which she would have changed anyway) and one or two other minor housekeeping issues. It wasn't ideal, but relatively reasonable after almost a week of three small children. She also said we had broken all her house rules, which included no smoking in the house and no loud music, which we categorically didn't do. She also made some entirely false claims regarding things which we either cleaned thoroughly or never used in the first place being left filthy.

If she'd marked us down a bit for cleaning and left a review accurately reflecting this I would have apologised and accepted it. But instead she's left a malicious and entirely exaggerated review and sent us really unprofessional private feedback which is personally insulting and borderline abusive.

We've contacted Airbnb who've been no help even though they can see from the private feedback that her public review is inaccurate, I've deleted my account with them because they were so useless.

We were absolutely gobsmacked and couldn't understand why she had done this. It just literally came out of nowhere. So, I've done a bit of digging about her today. We knew she was a big Labour supporter, as her house was covered in billboards for them. But I've done some digging today and discovered that she is obsessively opposed to any media which she deems 'right wing', even going as far as buying up all the 'social pornography' (so the Mail, Sun, Express etc) on sale locally and burning them so that she can rescue other people from being polluted by it. She also campaigns to have it banned. And guess what paper DH reads and left in her recycling? Yep. That's right. The Sun.

It's the only possible reason we can think of for her going so psycho on us. She's also probably massively wide of the mark in whatever she thinks that means, as DH is a Marxist Irish Republican. But he also really likes football and thinks The Sun does the best reporting on it by far, so he buys it, reads the back pages and then recycles it away without ever reading the rest.

That's absolutely immaterial anyway, because she simply shouldn't be judging and abusing guests based on what they choose to read anyway unless she is prepared to be upfront about this and specify beforehand that she doesn't want them on her property.

I'm so furious she's got away with this scot free and made money in the process. Given that in her private feedback she basically admits her review isn't accurate WIBU to try to take this further? Would I have any success with a civil claim? I'm tempted just to sign her up for millions of Sun and Daily Mail promotions, but I'd like to do this through the proper channels instead and she'd just use them to get money off the ones she burns.

So WIBU to follow this up? Any suggestions how I might do it?

smashyourglasses Tue 13-Jun-17 01:00:22

There's no exuse good enough for reading that shit rag.

BigYellowJumper Tue 13-Jun-17 01:06:08

She sounds crazy. If she has the money to buy a second property and then rents it out to make even more money, she is part of the very bourgeois she claims to despise. I am also a lefty, and if I had the money, I'd doubtless buy 1000 properties but then again, I don't go around demonising others for their entirely reasonable choices.

I would just forget about her. Chalk it up to experience.

BinDiesel Tue 13-Jun-17 01:07:43

Well you might think that smashy, I'm not keen on it myself. However I'm quite proud of the fact we live in a country where in theory we respect other people's right to have differing political opinions to our own. It's what seperates is from the likes of North Korea or Saudi Arabia.

It's not illegal. It feels to me a bit like the sort of Nazi book burning kind of thing or Communist purges against dissenters. I just find it really disturbing in a kind of 'I may not agree with what you say but I'll fight to the death for your right to say it' sort of way.

tararabumdeay Tue 13-Jun-17 01:10:17

Saying you left the place filthy; mentioning utensils you hadn't used - out of order.

Reading/buying/ 'The Sun', leaving the evidence in the bin even if shredded and weed on by cats, spiders and toads - unforgivable.

HirplesWithHaggis Tue 13-Jun-17 01:10:56

I don't think there's much you can do in the circumstances. You've deleted your account with Airbnb, so her feedback won't affect you. (Can you start a fresh one if you want to use them again? Maybe in dh's name if the first a/c was in yours?)

You have suffered no financial loss, so there's no civil claim afaik.

Put it down to experience and let it become a good dinner party story. You can dine out on it for years! grin

VestalVirgin Tue 13-Jun-17 01:12:27

She buys those newspapers? Even if it is to burn them, surely she knows those who make them don't really care whether they are read as long as they are bought?

Sounds crazy.

It is one of those weird things that sometimes happens ... I'd be more angry at Airbnb for not doing anything about it.

I doubt that woman can be held responsible for her actions, tbh. She doesn't seem to be completely sane.

Plunkette Tue 13-Jun-17 01:14:47

This is pure supposition on your part. You have no idea if it's in anyway true.

I'm fairly appalled you left a dirty pan. That's a pretty big oversight. I wonder if you were prepared to leave an dirty pan what else you left.

The mind boggles at how ketchup gets on a sheet.

It sounds like there's a problem re the music and smoking. If AirBnB can't help and you've deleted your account I'm not sure there's more you can do.

I can not think what reasonable basis you could pursue a civil claim. Clearly you did not leave the house in perfect condition. Perhaps someone else can advise from a position of more knowledge.

You certainly can't alledge a poor review on the basis of the paper. You have no proof.

PyongyangKipperbang Tue 13-Jun-17 01:22:52

A civil claim would never make it past the first consultation with a solicitor.

So I would go with the childish option.

prh47bridge Tue 13-Jun-17 01:24:31

If her review simply states opinions you probably don't have any comeback. However, if her review is factually incorrect you may have a case against her for libel. That can be expensive but a letter from a solicitor pointing out that it is libel and demanding that she withdraw the review would be relatively cheap.

Note that, contrary to the statement by Plunkette, you would not need to prove the reason for the poor review if this actually went to court.

KoalaDownUnder Tue 13-Jun-17 01:30:48

I would be interested to know what the other 'minor housekeeping issues' are.

RedBullBlood Tue 13-Jun-17 01:31:25

..and one or two other minor housekeeping issues - you don't say what these were?
Do either you of actually smoke in the first place?

mikesh909 Tue 13-Jun-17 01:36:49

I'm an airbnb host.

I once had a guest who booked for a week and stayed with her husband and toddler. When I returned after their departure, my jaw honestly hit the floor. Understand that I am not a person who has particularly high domestic standards, but in the week that she had stayed apparently no cleaning or tidying had been done, a week's worth of crumbs and toddler detritus had built up and various items had suffered low level damage - think your ketchup sheets or similar.

This is where airbnb is awkward because should she have been expected to clean up after herself? For me, the answer is yes. The flat I let out is my main home and my guests stay in it on the stated expectation that they look after it as if it were theirs. That means doing their own washing up, wiping surfaces, returning things to places if they move them and so on. This is also how I would expect to behave as a guest in an airbnb rental, although not necessarily in a hotel.

I left what I considered to be honest feedback on her profile and received a message much like yours in return and, similarly, deleted her profile shortly thereafter. The gist of her point seemed to be that she had a child, and had stayed a whole week. Neither of those things, to my mind, make it acceptable to leave the place in the state I found it! If anything, a longer stay with a child increase your responsibility as an airbnb guest to ensure the place is left as you found it. Don't like that idea? Well, there are plenty of hotels with ranks of chambermaids on the staff...

If she really did invent stuff about you having broken house rules then that is wrong. Why didn't you follow up with her about how she arrived at those conclusions? As for her finding your copy of The Sun in the recycling and punishing you for your poor choice in newspapers through a negative review, that seems far-fetched to me. At best, it is wild assumption. Much more likely is your idea of how to behave in an airbnb and hers are somewhat different. Have you stayed in many before? There are some which are much more 'hotel'-like than others. Perhaps this is what she meant about breaking her house rules?

GreatFuckability Tue 13-Jun-17 01:38:53

you want to take her to court because you've heard from some nebulous source that she dislikes the Sun, and you think she left you a shitty review because your husband reads the Sun, even though you've no actual proof that that is her reason?

yeah. that sounds logical. hmm

Plunkette Tue 13-Jun-17 01:41:02

Thanks for clarifying that point prh47. I knew someone wise would be along soon. smile

RedBullBlood Tue 13-Jun-17 01:43:48

I wonder what kind of digging you had to do to discover she's a rabid lefty who buys up red top papers to destroy?! It sounds wildly unlikely!

RhythmAndStealth Tue 13-Jun-17 01:53:36

We got untrue, really bad feedback from an AirBnB owner once. She said really hurtful things.

When we arrived, she asked what both our jobs were. When DH mentioned his, she told us about a friend of hers who works for the same company. In an almost threatening way- kind of making out that if we didn't tow the line, she would get DH into trouble at work. Which is hilarious- she assumed because DH is about 40, he was far junior to her friend (late 50s/early 60s, same as her). But DH is the boss of his bosses' boss.

She visibly recoiled when I said I'm not working just now. Made all kinds of venomous remarks about benefit scroungers. 1. I'm not on benefits 2. If I was, well, that kind of hatred is just unwarranted towards anyone.

She was also very put out by the fact that we are Scottish. The AirBnB place is in a part of Scotland that is close to some forces bases, so there are a lot of ex-forces people there, people from the wider UK. Which doesn't bother me, but it did apparently bother/surprise her that there are Scottish people in Scotland and that we dare stay in accommodation "not usually for locals/natives". Until she made her nasty remarks, I thought maybe she'd been at the end of some SNP stick and just brushed it off.

She was a cross between Hyacinth Bucket and Basil Fawlty, without the redeeming qualities of either.

Anyway, it was enough to put us off AirBnB for life.

Ah, that feels better. You're not alone OP. Get it off your chest....

notangelinajolie Tue 13-Jun-17 01:54:23

Tomato ketchup in the bedroom. Why? Please Explain.

Do you smoke? Because even if you didn't smoke inside the smell does tend to stick to clothes so you will have left some trace of smell. Apologies if you don't smoke.

Ginger782 Tue 13-Jun-17 02:10:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FreeNiki Tue 13-Jun-17 02:12:45

Tomato ketchup doesn't come off unless you deal with the stain right away.
She'll have to throw that sheet out. Why didnt you clean the sheet?

Ginger782 Tue 13-Jun-17 02:14:39

I feel I have to clarify my suggestion was a joke. grin

Read mikesh909's response for some sensible thoughts.

Sprinklestar Tue 13-Jun-17 02:24:06

That's awful! We've had nothing but bad experiences with AirBNB and don't use them anymore. Hideous experience in New York with a filthy apartment, sheets that stank of stale sweat, dirty bathroom... Called AirBNB (with a baby and toddler in tow) and they took over two hours to call back and sort things out. Needless to say, we had left by this point and found a (very expensive) hotel. Ultimately they covered the cost of the hotel but it took a lot of campaigning and pretty much ruined the first day/evening of our break.

KoalaDownUnder Tue 13-Jun-17 03:27:46

I've never used AirBNB, but this had convinced me that I can't be bothered! Too much scope for different expectations. Give me a clean, anonymous hotel room, thanks!

AngelaTwerkel Tue 13-Jun-17 03:32:58

I use Airbnb all the time and I love it. We've stayed at many, many unique and wonderful places and only ever had one bad experience. For me the benefits outweigh the risks.

Your host sounds bonkers, OP. I'm sorry you got a bad'un. You do have the option to write a rebuttal, perhaps you could sign back in (if you can) and write a factual, polite response to her review. That way, if you ever decide to reactivate your account at least you will have your account on the record.

Ethylred Tue 13-Jun-17 04:13:43

A dirty pan, a ketchup stain on a sheet and one or two other housekeeping items? You sound like an entitled idiot. And Marxist (Karl not Groucho presumably) Irish republican makes that two entitled idiots.

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