Firstly, we didn’t even meet personally, so calling me a liar without even listening to my side of the story is not acceptable at all. Ignacio is a very unprofessional host and staying at his place was my worst experience with Airbnb. Here is my response to his claims:
1. I booked the place months in advance and found out later on that I had to change my travel plans. So I sent him this message when I had to shorten my reservation:
“I'm sorry that I have to change my reservation because something came up that force me to shorten my travels. I want to stay in Buenos Aires for a longer period of time, but because I have to go home early, I have to cut down on my time here so that I have enough time to see other places in South America too. Hope you understand.”
Judge for yourself if you think this qualifies as a reason. I don’t think I need to explicitly explain what was the very personal “something came up” to a complete stranger.
2. Yes, my flight was delayed – my estimated flight arrival time was 3:55PM – but I arrived an hour later. Given that I had to collect my luggage and take the taxi, I don’t think I was really that late when I arrived at the house at 6:30PM. When I reached the house, no one was there. So, I called Ignacio but he didn’t answer his phone. It was getting dark, the street was quiet, and I was traveling alone. Even the taxi driver was worried for my safety and decided to drop me off at a nearby café. I tried repeatedly for 2 hours before he finally responded to my message. I also called Airbnb customer service for help and they couldn’t even reach him. When he replied me, he told me to give him a second to handle the situation. The second lasted for about 30 minutes without any updates. Not knowing how long more I have to wait, I asked him “what is going on?” He rudely replied me that my flight was delayed and the person-in-charge wasn’t there. The way he replied was as though I was entirely to blame for the situation. It turned out that he wasn’t in the city and his brother was in charged of meeting me. He didn’t inform me about this earlier, so the whole time I was expecting him to be the one in charge. This whole situation could be avoided if I could directly contact the brother. When I asked the brother why he didn’t wait for me, he casually replied that HE FORGOT! I concluded that no one was waiting for me in the first place! Overall, I waited for more than 2 hours before I got into the house and not 15 minutes like he claimed.
3. OK, maybe that wasn’t the best decision to leave the keys with another guest. He wasn’t in town that day and I wanted to leave the place as fast as I could, so I left the keys with the guest, as I trusted her, and he eventually got his keys back. I emailed him to let him know about it once I settled down in my new place. I didn’t call him earlier because I didn’t feel comfortable talking to him and didn’t want to create more confrontation.
4. There are several reasons I chose to leave the place and every reason that I told his many guests and him are all true. They include:
(a) This place is about an hour away from my tango class. I only found out about the class recently, and therefore, didn’t factor in the location at the time of booking. Given that I was in the city for a short time, I didn’t want to waste my precious time commuting so long every single day.
(b) I thought that I could live in a shared space, but I realized that it wasn’t for me anymore. I need my own space and privacy, and I didn’t feel comfortable living with three other people in a same room.
(c) But the main reason for leaving the place: I was really scarred by the whole check-in process. And on top of that, I was put to blame and not given a sincere apology. I felt the whole situation was very unprofessionally handled. Not wanting this experience to ruin the rest of my time in Buenos Aires, I decided to leave this place behind and found a better place to stay.
5. I sent him an email to let him know that I left his place and was disappointed with his service. His reply: “Please do not contact me anymore.” I was completely shocked and dumbfounded by his reply.
To sum things up, I don’t see a point as to why I should “manipulate” the situation as I have everything to lose – I had a bad experience, had to pay extra for another place to live and not getting any refund for the 5 nights I didn’t spend at his place, wasted my time by waiting for more than 2 hours to check-in and moving to another place the next day, and getting this bad review. I definitely do not want to experience this horrible situation and this should not happen at all in the first place.