Photo by PoPville flickr user brunofish
I had this horrible interaction on airbnb this weekend, and I’m really bothered by it. I’ve shown it to a few friends and family, and they think I acted appropriately and am not the one in the wrong, but I can’t shake the feeling that the other person is also getting the same feedback from their support system. I ultimately want to be the best possible person I can be, recognizing that it’s always a work in progress, so I’d like to submit the transcript to PoPville for input. I’m looking for an honest evaluation of the interaction, and who/where/what could have been done differently. Of course, I’m hoping for validation on my end, but if I need to, I will eat a slice of humble pie and take it as an opportunity for growth.
I’m not going to identify if I’m the guest or host, at this point, because I don’t want to accidentally introduce any bias. I will if necessary in the comments, though. So, I removed identifying information.
Listing was for 2 bed/2 bath condo in DC, but the listing specified that the unit did not have a couch, or wifi/cable. Listing was reserved Jan 21 for a stay starting Mar 8 (Tuesday). Prior to the reservation, host and guest negotiated adding a couch and wifi/cable, with a nominal increase in the initially quoted price. (the “creature comforts” referenced at one point). The interactions prior to the reservation had been pleasant and fine. There were no further interactions until Friday, when the guest reached out to the host about how to gain access to the building. The host then asked if the guest needed parking.
GUEST: Awesome. And yes, we do need parking, please.
3/4/16 at 5:13 PM
HOST: Ok! For 5 days, the best we can do is $25 total for the parking spot in the underground garage connected to the building. Does that work for you?
3/5/16 at 10:11 AM
GUEST: I thought the listing included parking? And if it didn’t, why didn’t we settle this at the time of the reservation?
3/5/16 at 1:07 PM
HOST: No, parking has never been included in the listing. It’s always available and for a fee. No previous renters have made issue with that. I will review my listing details and edit to make sure that is clear going forward. I had your reservation confused with another one coming right after you so, that’s why I even thought to ask…I actually was doing more so to clarify. I always ask if a renter needs parking in the communication after the reservation is made (unless they explicitly ask me before). Again, no one has ever had an issue with that. From the tone of your note, it sounds like you do. So, just let me know which way you want to go – whether you want the parking or not. Frankly, $20 is extremely low for designated parking for that many days ($5 per day) in an underground, attached-to-bldg spot. I have done whatever I can to make sure you/your folks are as comfortable as possible – even making an extra effort to get the “creature comforts” setup for your reservation so, I’d appreciate your taking that into consideration. I appreciate a friendly, conversational rapport with all my reservations – instead of snippety back and forths. Thank you.
3/5/16 at 3:40 PM
GUEST:[host name], I also appreciate a friendly, conversational tone. I asked a clarifying question, bc for some reason I was under the impression it was included, and I thought (and still think) it’s odd to add in after the fact. So, no thank you on parking, then. It is a decent rate, and I would have paid had it been presented up front. But, since I have a spot in my garage we can figure it out. Also, because I know [building name] has unassigned spots in a shared garage. Thanks, and we’re looking forward to the stay.
3/6/16 at 12:09 PM
HOST: [guest name], Not sure where you heard that about the [building name] parking situation, because that is simply untrue. [building name] has only assigned spots (that owners like me typically purchased additionally – upon purchase of the condominium unit itself); yes, it is a shared garage (with the building next door which is leasing), but again, spots are monitored and designated. I charge for my spot based on principle; I have never given it to an AirBnB renter on a complimentary basis. I made it very clear as to why the parking option wasn’t presented to you beforehand; I am sorry you think it is “odd.” What I mind most disturbing is the rude and condescending tone of your messages. I have been very kind, and again, attempted to go the extra mile to make this stay the best possible it could be for you; however, how you’ve written me these past couple times is disturbing. This is my home, and you were going to be a guest in it. Perhaps all you were trying to do was clarify, but what you lacked was a courteous and respectful tone/attitude towards someone who was going to be opening up their home to you. I wish you all the best, but unfortunately, I do not feel comfortable having you as a guest in my home.
3/6/16 at 3:50 PM
HOST: I have been very kind, and again, attempted to go the extra mile to make this stay the best possible it could be for you; however, how you’ve written me these past couple times is disturbing. This is my home, and you were going to be a guest in it. Perhaps all you were trying to do was clarify something, but what you lacked was a courteous and respectful tone/attitude towards someone who was going to be opening up their home to you. I wish you all the best, but unfortunately, I do not feel at all comfortable having you as a guest in my home.
3/6/16 at 3:57 PM
GUEST: Wow, that’s very unprofessional. I asked a question, and I admit I could have prefaced it with a bit more fluff, but your response was unwarranted (2 paragraphs of ranting!) and cancelling also is unwarranted. I don’t understand why all charges wouldn’t be charged ahead of time, I mean we negotiated other charges, so it caught me off guard, and is a very legitimate question. If you can’t handle people asking questions, perhaps you shouldn’t be in the business of providing hospitality.
3/6/16 at 3:58 PM
HOST: My cancellation is not unwarranted, and I will be certain that the AirBnB team knows that. In all the people I’ve interacted with on this site, I’ve never experienced this kind of tone/attitude from anyone. This was not a professional situation – this is a personal situation; you were going to be a guest in my home – I deserve respect and courtesy not the attitude you reflected in your messages. And, to say you should’ve prefaced with “fluff?” Hah! Now I’m certain you’re not the kind of person I’d ever want to be a guest in my home. Now you’ve hurled another accusation at me: ranting! I was attempting to provide insight and clarity, and make [what you were seeming to be like a mistake of] a situation as right as possible. Please do not contact me ever again.
3/6/16 at 4:08 PM”