Response from Joao:
fellow HOSTS: BEWARE potential SCHEMER. Airbnb Staff: They found a way to have a stay for free and walk away.
- My problem: I was away and didn't follow their stay with all my resources until late.
- Their problem: probably wanted to stay elsewhere from the beginning, and found a way to escalate a conflict. Succeeded and got a full refund.
- Their facts: no way to prove or disprove now, so it's their word against mine (hope not against yours too, fellow future host)
- My facts: Once I arrived, I had a talk with my parents who stayed here and dealt with them 2. Huge disproportion on the recalls of any of the interactions. Maybe the language was a barrier, BUT I doubt French is their only language as they did understand my written messages in Portuguese (otherwise would not have arrived at our unnamed street) and produced a readable comment in English (above).
The flat was still locked same way as they left it, and I entered to find the dirtiest flat ever used by only 2 guests. Then, with the help of a continuous recording camera we have at building lobby, I did see enough to have an opinion. There were repeatedly more people with them than only the 2 agreed upon booking, and then there was the moment of departure when (same?) friends came banging on building door, and both girls were happy (not scared at all) and still had time to be verbally offensive to my parents during that departing moment (already with the refund granted by Airbnb).
- My story and interaction: while away, out of the blue, I received a call from Airbnb support. There's an emergency: guests are locked inside with fear, AND want to leave. (Never before did they phoned SMS emailed or even msg'ed via Airbnb). Not even later, neither picked the phone again. Yet, they were able to call and be called back and forth during the mediation of that "emergency". It did felt requiring a fast and assertive answer, so I did give all the benefit of the doubt to them and allowed the refund (it shows that I did cancel it - therefore my surprise also with the Airbnb staff way of doing it). Still, now, I guess any host when put in a situation of emergency will sacrifice _everything_ before the guests get a safe FEELING. Therefore I assured to Airbnb operator they could leave without fear, and even worried about, with her, where they would stay that night (these is before days, when then I saw the happy friends reunion at my building's door).
- Conclusion: On their side: They did have much of their stay for free, they did leave happily with FRIENDS that arrived on site in minutes, and their Airbnb profile is still IMMACULATE waiting for the next absent or naive host.
On my side, I will have to double check more my guests before accepting (SAD), and will trust less on the MEDIATION of Airbnb (double SAD) , BUT it will NOT ever change my will to host NORMAL persons ... which in large majority LOVE to stay with us.