Pick a side – The Guest or The Host? “I’m looking for an honest evaluation of the interaction, and who/where/what could have been done differently.”

host-or-guest
Photo by PoPville flickr user brunofish

“Dear PoPville,

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.

Background:

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”

221 Comment

  • You both are wrong.

    • Yup. Both sides come off like jerks.

    • I pick the “none of the above” side

    • Both wrong.
      Also – the guest submitted this to popville and omitted a lot of the communication (says there was communication before the reservation and seems to conveniently only start quoting from point at which host looks unhinged.)
      Both sound too edgy to be using Airbnb

    • +1
      .
      Breakdown of who did what wrong when:
      .
      Beginning of the problem is GUEST 3/5/16 at 10:11 AM. It’s a little terse. Also if you are in fact in the wrong about this listing it’s obviously your fault. You didn’t include the listing so I’m assuming that’s the case.
      .
      HOST overreacts a little in response 3/5/16 at 1:07 PM. But things could still be recovered at that point.
      .
      At 3/5/16 at 3:40 PM GUEST basically accuses HOST of lying about the parking situation. Totally uncalled for, especially after things are getting confrontation and after the previous email.
      .
      HOST is understandably pissed at being called a liar 3/6/16 at 12:09 PM. Could have let it go, or simply called it out, but instead goes completely off the rails.
      .
      Everyone here is crazy.

      • HaileUnlikely

        Good catch, I missed that part where GUEST basically accuses HOST of being a liar.
        .
        My read is that in real life, GUEST is a jerk and HOST is looney tunes.

      • I suppose I was a little terse, but I remember the listing including parking. So I felt like I was being scammed.

        • Was the listing no longer viewable online — when the host brought this up, was there a way to check back on the listing and review what it said?

        • I am really curious — OP Guest, why were you going on your recollection rather than double-checking the listing itself?

          • I think they mentioned downthread that when they went back to check it did NOT include parking and felt it had been changed after the fact…. I think the more likely scenario is the OP got it confused with another listing, and it didn’t include parking.

        • It feels like you were wrong about the parking and instead of just swallowing that you lashed out.

          I’ve done that before, and only realized later that it was my shock at not having realized something that made me react without thinking, even though I was wrong.

        • I think you may be confused. The interaction about the parking was terse, but it was later you really set them off. HOST replied offering you a reserved spot in the parking lot. In your response you said you knew for a fact there was no reserved parking in that building, thus accusing them of lying about the parking situation. It should have been pretty obvious this would set HOST off further.
          .
          Nobody is in the right here. But the correct response, especially after it’s obvious HOST is a little tightly wound, would have been “Sorry for the misunderstanding, thanks for the offer but we don’t need the parking” or “Sorry for the misunderstanding, please let us know the easiest way to pay you for the parking.” Instead you chose to escalate things unnecessarily.

          • +1 thats my overall thought process here too. The host is clearly wound way too tight, but it almost feels like you were poking the bear and then complained when it woke up and started charging after you, OP. When I’m frantic and overwhelmed by new info at the last minute, I tend to react similarly. I think in this case you got frustrated, despite being incorrect, and the Hose snapped.

          • True. Proving you were right or, worse, trying to get someone else to acknowledge you are right and they are wrong is not usually the best way to move a business arrangement forward. Unfortunately, too many people (perhaps especially in DC) can’t get beyond their need to be right (or understood not to be completely wrong). Internet/email don’t help this. Also, definitely parallels between GUEST’s responses and the need to air the conversation here.

        • $25 for 5 days in dc is a great price for parking. No scam here either way.

  • I’d have to say here that the Host comes off as pretty unhinged.

    • Agreed. It seems like the Guest was just asking/clarifying, and they got very long-winded, defensive responses from the Host for no apparent reason.

      • Agreed with the above summary.
        .
        If the host is the one who sent this into PoPville, I would suggest adding something to his/her listing like “Parking can be arranged for a fee.”
        .
        The host’s reply from 3/5/16 3:40 PM (the one that starts “No, parking has never been included in the listing) is where things start to go wrong. The guest sounded mildly peeved in the message just preceding (the one with “And if it didn’t, why didn’t we settle this at the time of the reservation?”)… but only mildly.
        .
        The host overreacted — he/she got defensive/self-justifying and sounded EXTREMELY miffed. The guest’s messages were short, but not curt.

        • Except the GUEST basically accused host of lying about the parking situation. That’s what really set things off.

          • I don’t read it like that at all. Only if you read WAY too much into it, like the host did, can you say that guest called host a liar.

          • pjl35, thanks. I wasn’t accusing the host of lying. I honestly thought the listing included parking.

          • Right, but you can see how the host might (over)read that as an implication that he/she lied?

          • Plus, 90% of that email simply didn’t need to be said and didn’t advance any of GUEST’s interests. It’s not surprising a HOST who would write the prior email would take such an email as an attack.

      • Absolutely this. Host uses all kinds of defensive language to a simple question about parking.

      • Agreed! Sure, the guest could have been a bit more chatty/polite (but i agree that that would basically have bene fluff), and maybe the point about the free spots unnecessarily aggravated things, but i think the guest was totally adequately straightforward, and was just clarifying, and the host totally overreacted.

    • Agreed – hypersensitive and touchy. Two particular things:
      ” I’ve never experienced this kind of tone/attitude from anyone.” I don’t really see a tone here. Perhaps one of irritation that charges involving parking weren’t disclosed up front, but nothing over the top.
      “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.” That’s simply incorrect. It’s personal when your family comes to stay; when someone is paying you for a service, it’s professional, regardless of whether it’s in your home or not. Host has a lot of nerve claiming it’s “personal” immediately after charging, “on princip0le” for a parking spot that apparently is paid for on a monthly basis.

    • +1
      Not sure why s/he felt the need to take that tone at 1:07 PM and after.

      Additionally, it appears that the host is not sure what the listing actually offered in terms of parking. The guest also is not being very nice, but was needlessly provoked.

      That being said, I would just move on. Who cares if the host/guest was rude to you and hurt your sensitivities. As a minority, I’ve been treated far worse and I’ve never dwelt on it.

    • Agreed. The guest could have been more polite with his or her parking response, but I think unhinged is the right word to describe the actions of the host.

      Too much drama.

    • +1. The guest’s question about parking was a little terse, but if I were the host I would have assumed they were typing a quick question into their smartphone and I would not have been offended that they didn’t sit down to compose a flowery, sensitive, carefully worded reply. It sounds like the guest was genuinely confused, and they wanted to make sure that they understood what the terms were. Meanwhile it sounds like the host immediately went to DEFCON-5 for no real reason. And the host said that she “always ask if a renter needs parking in the communication after the reservation is made.” however it sounds like in this case, she did not. So there’s that too.

    • The host’s language was inappropriate. The long-winded, uptight, defensive, and even accusatory posture changed the very meaning of what s/he was trying to convey. S/he claimed to be “professional,” but the tenor of the language was anything but.

  • Agree with JS – both sides handled it poorly. Highly doubt that the Air BnB listed parking as included but the host should not have been anything more than “my bad but to be up front when other guests have asked we have charged them” and just left it at that.

    As for the guest – I get everything is a negotiation but when it is someone’s actual home you are staying in there is a point where reasonable accommodation becomes high maintenance douchebag.

  • I’m honestly really not sure why the Host at 3:40pm felt the need to say
    “Again, no one has ever had an issue with that. From the tone of your note, it sounds like you do. …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.”
    .
    I think that this is where it went wrong. IMO, pointing out that the parking price is reasonable was really defensive when the Guest didn’t say anything negative about the price. And inserting the “snippety back and forths” part was just totally uncalled for. I didn’t think that the Guest’s question about why it wasn’t mentioned up front was fair and didn’t justify that response.

  • If this is the entirety of the conversation, Host REALLY overreacted. I see nothing “disturbing” about them inquiring about the parking.

  • Here’s a hint: if you are the one sending a private message exchange in to Popville for vindication, then you were probably the one in the wrong.
    Based on your responses, if I were that guest I’d be happy that you cancelled it before I did, presuming this poor guest didn’t have to eat any of the fees.

    • Hmm. My guess is that OP is the guest. It seems like both host and guest live in DC, based on this line “But, since I have a spot in my garage we can figure it out.” Maybe booking a stay for a family member?

      • Ahhh! I was wondering about that “spot in my garage” remark — your proposed scenario makes sense.

      • You are right, they de-identified themselves. But context clues tell me it’s the host who sent it:
        Second sentence says “they think I acted appropriately”, and the host did the “action” in the story by cancelling, not the guest. Also, sending it into popville for vindication is a natural followup for this egotistical and unhinged host.
        …I can’t believe I’m expending energy on this dumb story…

    • Yes, in the end, we are relieved it was cancelled. I had initially made a hotel reservation for them anyways, that fortunately I hadn’t yet cancelled.

  • The host is off their rocker.

    • Yup! It’s entirely reasonable for the guest to assume that all “extra” charges were already discussed during their previous negotiation. It seems like the host failed to mention that parking would be extra from the onset, so the guest seemed reasonably upset at the host’s tone about the additional cost (though, I didn’t think they went overboard showing that).
      .
      I don’t know why the host felt compelled to nickel-and-dime the guest when they’re paying for a week’s stay – just bake everything into the same price.

    • Agreed. The guest seems to have dashed off a few quick emails that were very to-the-point, but I don’t understand how someone used to communicating electronically could consider them “snippy” or dis-“respectful.” I don’t see much wrong with what guest wrote/did; host seems to have completely overreacted and/or has a much different understanding of what airbnb is for.

  • Host is wrong. Totally overreacted to the question. Should have left out the part about having friendly conversations and avoiding snippety back and forth. If you feel someone snaps, just answer professionally, no need to call them out like he/she did.

  • Wow, that got out of hand quickly! My guess is that airbnb will side with the guest, though. While it’s true that the tone of the initial question from the guest could perhaps have been more polite, it’s nothing out of the ordinary, and a gracious host should have been able to resolve the situation quickly and to everyone’s satisfaction.

  • Host is in the wrong here.

  • IF this is truly the extent of the conversation (and if previous back and forths were very civil), then the Host went a little off the deep end for very little provocation – Also, I have an issue with talking about a business transaction as if the Host is doing the Guest a favor versus selling a service.

  • Sometimes communicating over email sucks – one party reads more into “tone” then the other.

    Even though it seems like guest jumped (a bit) to the snarky side first, host really escalated and was unrelenting. It seems like the host became a bit defensive, since he/she (rightly or wrongly) felt like the guest was attacking.

    Sometimes I hate people, but sometimes I like phone calls so much better!

  • The host is rather wordy and was clearly was put-out by having to do the extras of installing wi-fi and adding a couch. The guest assumed parking was free and felt they were being nickle and dimed, hence the rude tone they took.
    Air BnB ad needs to be clarified to say “Parking available for fee” .

    Its probably better that Host cancelled, this could have ended badly.

  • Guest was wrong to assume parking was included but IMO the Host’s reactions come off, as another commenter put it, unhinged

  • I’m guessing you are the guest. It is weird the host didn’t include information about parking in his post, but if host wants to charge $25 for parking, they can do that. The guest did come off as rude, calling into question the hosts integrity.

    • I don’t dispute the host’s right to charge for parking. I was under the impression that I had already paid for parking as part of the overall fee.

  • Are there other conversations from host or guest that aren’t included? This looks like a selective sample

    • Yes, other conversations before these, but they were mostly before the reservation was confirmed. They were friendly and conversational. This transcript includes all communication from that point on, though. Nothing was selectively omitted, except names.

  • HaileUnlikely

    The two of you sound like Trump and Rubio arguing about the size of your hands. You are both being childish.
    .
    I suspect this would have been avoided altogether if the host had simply stated in the listing “Parking available for additional fee” or something to that effect.
    .
    That said, I would not ask an airbnb host to rent or buy additional furniture or wifi for me, and if I were the host, I would have no interest in renting to somebody who asked me to supply stuff that the listing clearly stated was not there. Even if I had already ordered a couch or planned to install wifi for reasons unrelated to the guests request, I wouldn’t feel great about renting to somebody who felt it reasonable to ask me to supply a sofa that I did not have. There are tons if airbnb rentals in DC. If you want a sofa and wifi, rent a place with a sofa and wifi.

    • I completely agree with HaileUnlikely.
      .
      As a guest, I would not ask a host to add additional features (whether or not they were willing) and as a host I certainly would not have agreed to accommodate that request. It seems like parking was unintentionally the last straw…

    • This is what I was thinking completely. I feel like the parking may have been the last straw with the host. But, probably, both were at fault.

    • The host did not have to agree to provide the sofa or wifi. But we asked, and they did, and in turn they raised the rental price, which we accepted. Those things were all negotiated prior to confirming the reservation.

      • HaileUnlikely

        I understand that the host didn’t have to agree to that. It is my opinion that the host was batsh!t crazy to agree to that, though, or for that matter, to even entertain the possibility of renting to somebody who asked for that in the first place (even if the guest had backed down and said “OK OK I don’t need a sofa or wifi afterall).
        .
        I think the host appears to be batsh!t crazy. I don’t think you appear to be batsh!t crazy. But I think you were both unreasonable in your own ways.

    • Agree. I think both guest and host are wrong. FWIW I’m not a fan of Airbnb either, so my opinion may not count as much.

  • IMO, the host went way overboard. Judgment for the guest! 🙂

    It appears to me the ‘flash point’ was when the guest said, “I thought the listing included parking? And if it didn’t, why didn’t we settle this at the time of the reservation?” Sure the guest could have worded it differently, but I don’t consider that an unreasonable to response given the surprise of not having parking including when it was expected (and having not seen the listing, it’s not clear how prevalent that fact may or may not have been presented). As for the host obtaining the ‘creature comforts’ for the guest, I consider that an irrelevant point. The host was not required to get those and could have been clear that those items were not available for this listing and the guest could have moved on. The host chose to obtain those items for the sake of guest, and according to the OP the interactions were still cordial until the parking comment. Maybe the host felt the guest was a bit high-maintenance, but hey, you run into that on Airbnb… comes with the territory. There were plenty of opportunities to cancel the reservation prior to the guest literally asking how to get into the building.

    I’m curious to see how others respond to this post.

    • The “why didn’t we settle this at the time of the reservation” is not a real question. It’s an accusatory question. Guest isn’t really looking for a “why” but cowardly stating a “we should have settled this”. That’s where it went wrong first. Each could have rescued it by not being so defensive but each was childish. I hope each one is under 30 it’s sad to think adults act this way.

      • See, I didn’t interpret it that way at all; I interpreted it more as “why didn’t we talk about it” or “it wasn’t clear from the posting.” But there goes to show the problem — people can interpret one sentence vastly different from each other.

        • Interesting, I do agree now that it could have been a ‘real’ question. Yes interpretation is everything, and intention’s everything too. Still each continued the downward spiral, just now the Host started it. There comes a point where explaining oneself is counter-productive.

  • the easiest way to avoid problems with a vague or questionable tone is to get on the phone or talk in person.

  • I didn’t read past 3/5/16 at 1:07 PM HOST because the Host greatly overreacted.
    .
    However, I do recognize that BOTH hosts and guests can be terribly unprofessional. When I subletted last summer I told a potential renter FOUR DIFFERENT TIMES that the unit only had a *twin* bed (plus it was in my original listing). The subletter arrived and sent a very unprofessional email complaining that the bed was not larger despite me having noted it FOUR TIMES. So. I think the nature of subletting space is really just … crappy.

  • I’m a frequent user of Airbnb as both guest and host, and can say this host sounds a bit off. I don’t think the guest needs to be worried about being ‘reported’ to Airbnb, unless there was something else in the exchange not noted above, guest seems pretty reasonable. The host, on the other hand, will be severely dinged for canceling 2 days before a reservation and I don’t think there’s anything in this exchange that exonerates him.

    Of course, this begs the question of whether parking was included in the listing. And if the guest needed it, why did they never bring it up?

    (Fwiw, I’ve found that the vast majority of guests coming to DC don’t need parking, so I don’t mention it unless they bring it up. And the parking situation is clearly laid out in the listing.)

  • Host went off the handle from the word “snickety,” though I understand they were going out of their way by offering parking and the guest shouldn’t have assumed it was included. If I was renting out my place, I wouldn’t consider it my fault if a guest got a parking ticket. While I would provide advice on the issue, that’s something people should be able to figure out on their own.

  • Host it wrong. Honestly, it comes off as is host has never used email before and doesn’t understand that short does not mean “snippety”. And what are you, my grandma?? Who says snippety??

    • I use the word “snippy” from time to time, I’m not sure if I’ve ever used full-on “snippety” before. Maybe it’s a regional thing?

      • I suspect it is — I’d never heard it before (and thought that the host had combined “snippet” and “snippy”), but it shows up in Merriam-Webster.

  • TLDR:
    guest: is parking included?
    host: ]pages and page of ranting]
    guest: so parking isn’t included?
    host: YOUR RESERVATION IS CANCELED!

  • I also would say that the host overreacted (given this is the entire conversation)

  • Funny most people this OP is the guest, I was thinking OP was the host. Either way, the host overreacted and escalated the situation quickly. Both sides acted childish though and ending the transaction was the right thing to do on both sides

  • Just be thankful you no longer have to deal with each other and get on with your lives.

  • Honestly, this got too long winded to even finish reading…you’re both wrong and you should both be relieved that you didn’t have to deal with each other in the end.

  • The host sounds like a nut job and the guest was right in wanting to know about any extra costs up front.

  • The Host escalated the situation by stating “Again, no one has ever had an issue with that. From the tone of your note, it sounds like you do……

    But in the same vain, the host looked out initially by going out their way with the couch and wifi and appears a bit turned off by the guest questioning why parking wasnt included in the initial transaction after having made all of those other concessions. $25 is relatively cheap for 5 days of parking.

    Classic case of over talking. Parking is $25 bucks. Do you want it or not? Everything else was extra, unnecessary conversation that led to both the guest and host slapping each others hand and trying/failing to prove their points.

  • Host was in the wrong. This is just petty af: “I appreciate a friendly, conversational rapport with all my reservations – instead of snippety back and forths. Thank you.”

  • Host is wrong. Host escalated it for not reason. Pretty much dangled the keys to the renter then pulled them away because they thought the renter “needed” their place.

  • houseintherear

    Oof. I’m an airbnb host and I think the host did not take this on in the right way. I’m a super moody/emotional person, but my guests would never know that because no emotion is put into the listing or hosting… I think that’s always the best way to go. Be friendly but treat it like you are running a business. As a guest a few days out from a reservation that was suddenly canceled, I’d be super pissed and would complain to Airbnb, so hopefully the host is prepared for that kind of action! And in my experience, 90% of guests will have last-minute things they didn’t think of or plan for and will ask the host about those things… getting mad about it is NOT going to change that. “I’ll see what I can do,” or, “Let me check into that and get back to you soon,” are good ways to respond, then take an emotional breather, then respond with what you need from them or what you can do.

  • SilverSpringGal

    I’m on the HOST’s side.

    A: Who complains about a $25 parking fee for 5 days? Especially in DC? And yes, the owners pay extra for the condo parking spots so you were getting a deal. My unit had an extra $20K fee for a parking spot ABOVE ground.

    I mean if I was faced with a renter like this I’d back out too. Next Point – B: Who asks someone to have a couch delivered and wi-fi (presumably) installed for a 5 day stay?!?

    Seriously this is one of the most entitled pieces I’ve seen.

    • But the OP didn’t complain about it. They were just wondering why it wasn’t mentioned up front.

      • Also, note that the guest specifically said they agreed parking was a great price — but they weren’t going to take it because Host sent an necessarily long and… frankly, rude… response.
        .
        From the conversation: “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.”

    • I didn’t complain about the price. I complained about it not being told to me when I made the reservation, and it not being charged when I paid for everything else. We agreed for a higher rental price for the sofa and wifi. I don’t think it’s entitled to ask for a service and be willing to pay for it. If we had demanded sofa and wifi without paying more…yes, that would be entitled. But that wasn’t the situation, and the host could have very easily said no and we wouldn’t have made the reservation.

      • SilverSpringGal

        If the listing didn’t say ‘Parking Included’ then I’d expect to be asked to pay for it or not have it available at all. i.e. The guest would have had to find something on the street. Any (good) hotel you go to should have parking, but do they charge you for it – YES.

        As for the extras, its entitled if it was clear that this rental unit didn’t include what you’re asking for regardless of the fact that you’re willing to pay a bit more. You didn’t ask for them to have oranges and bottled water waiting for you, you asked for a couch and internet service – both of which require substantial time/fees on behalf of the owner.

        All-in-all I just recommend finding a listing with what you want rather than trying to wheedle things in after the fact.

        • It’s not entitled to ask for something, and clearly the host was willing to negotiate with the guest as to the sofa and the wifi. I think your characterization that the guest was trying to “wheedle things in after the fact” is unfair. It was a simple question, and the host overreacted.

        • I think the extras thing really depends on context/the way the guest asked for it. For all we know GUEST casually asked as in “worth a shot” and HOST thought “oh I ought to do this anyway.”
          As for the parking, the guest clearly thought that the listing DID say ‘Parking Included’ – the guest may have been mistaken but he/she thought that it was part of the deal and was thrown off when it was added. Don’t see the issue here.

  • Wow, both sides come off as jerks. So there’s no winner here. I’ve been hearing more and more horror stories in regards to airbnb. There are just too many emotions involved…..

    • Andie302

      99.99% of transactions go smoothly – you just hear the horror stories. We host people all the time and have had a great experience. They rely on us for tips in our neighborhood, and sometimes even come back with suggestions of things for us to check out. Really and truly – most people are an absolute pleasure to deal with. We’ve had foreign students, people traveling to see new grandchildren, business travelers, tourists from all over – and really…it’s been a positive experience.

    • We had one of our best vacations in Costa Rica using an Airbnb for a week. The hosts were so kind and I loved that they were locals and gave us great advice on beaches, restaurants, etc. They even booked our activities for us!

  • palisades

    I guess I’m a little confused why you would book this place to begin with? It didn’t have a couch, wifi, or parking, yet you knew you would need that. Why would you even waste your time? And who requests the host to add something like wifi and a couch? Wtf?
    .
    Nonetheless, the host sounds insane. But if I were the host I would have laughed off your requests a long time before this conversation.

    • jim_ed

      I’m also confused by the couch and wifi. Who moves a couch in and out as an amenity? Is the couch otherwise locked up in a closet if you don’t opt for it? Do you charge extra for a door on the bathroom as well?

      • Yeah, same goes for wifi, really. Either the home already includes wifi and the host is being a little aggressive on the upcharging, or adding wifi is a fairly big lift (I guess you could rent an LTE hotspot or something, but the guest may as well just do that themselves). It’s not like cable companies are in the business of giving five-day internet service.

      • The couch is especially confusing. For wifi, my guess is that there is wifi in the house, but the host only gives out the password if the guest pays an upcharge. That’d leave a bad taste in my mouth as the guest. But, I’ve never used AirBnB, so I don’t know the conventions.

    • my guess is that it’s in the building OP Guest lives in, or would be very convenient to have family stay in. As in the location of this unit was so good, it was worth asking. Also explains some of the parking insider knowledge.

    • Agree with everything written here, and I wonder if the host was already a little on edge because he or she felt like s/he had already gone above and beyond for the guest providing a couch and wifi for a space that came with neither. Honestly I wouldn’t even think to ask for a couch (tf??) I’d just find a space that was a better fit for my needs

  • Andie302

    As a host the first thing I would’ve done is check the listing. If it’s there, you’re in the clear; if it’s not, you should put it in there immediately and not charge this person for parking. Just because other people eat it as the cost of doing business without sending you an email about it doesn’t mean that they weren’t surprised too. The clearer you are, the better. I think the owner in this case is wrong – correcting someone you’ve never met and you’re having a financial transaction with on their tone seems out of line. Sorry that this happened for the guest (if this is a complete record or what transpired).

  • #TeamGuest

  • Host seems insane, but it’s a bit odd not to ask about parking until after you’ve booked, and odder still to balk at $25.

    • You’d be amazed at what people forget to ask about… or don’t read even though you’ve noted it in the listing (see my post above).
      .
      And again with the parking… Guest did not balk at $25: “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.”

      • That *is* balking. They’re framing it that they won’t pay it based on timing, but the end result is that they were quoted $25 for parking and balked.
        .
        Balk balk balk. Doesn’t look like a word anymore.

        • I balked because I thought parking was included. And if it wasn’t, I was surprised that it was something that would be paid at a different time from the listing. I felt like I was being taking advantage of, and also thought it was ridiculous for $25.

  • The host did save themselves a headache by cancelling the reservation. Wifi, Couch, Cheap Parking, what was next? Host appeared to cut their losses before the reservation became more of a hassle than it was worth.

    • But the host could have said no to the couch and wifi in the first place, right? While Guest may be too high-maintenance, Host was overly accommodating.

  • I felt like this took a wrong turn the minute the guest said “I thought the listing included parking? And if it didn’t, why didn’t we settle this at the time of the reservation?” the tone of that comes across has harsher than it needs to be. Without seeing the listing its tough to know if they had any reason to assume it was included, but I get the feeling that the listing said something like “Parking available” which is different than “parking included.” Unless a listing clearly states that parking is included in the price, I would never assume that in DC, so I’m confused as to how that got missed.

    But, while it started with that wrong turn in tone, it definitely went off the rails in the host’s response. That said, it almost feels to me like the guest KNEW they were being somewhat curt in that original question and wanted to make that known. Well, mission accomplished because the host clearly wasn’t the type of person to handle that well.

    I think ultimately the host took things too far, but at the end of the day the guest had to find an alternative at the last minute and could have prevented all of this with a little more “fluff” (as they called it.)

  • Ally

    I think both sides could have used a little more tact, but this seems like it just spiraled unnecessarily. Made worse by the host, IMHO (I’m southern, so we take manners very seriously). The host should have apologized for not mentioning the additional parking rates up front (seriously; why wouldn’t you). The guest should have been understanding that maybe that’s standard in the city and apologetically asked to clarify things after the host seems confused or weird about the question…just to keep things nice. And, most importantly, the host should have never, never, never threatened to report the renter to AirBnB. Seriously? Over a parking question? Seems way over the line. That being said, you guys should settle this like normal folks and go get a beer or three and laugh it off. Not worth ruining a business relationship or a trip over. Even if whomever feels like he/she is in the right, just apologize. Not worth the angst.

  • Posting this without reading other comments first. I do think the Guest’s first e-mail about the parking not being included was a too brusk and confrontational and unnecessary. Also, requesting someone add a couch to an Air BnB seems a bit much too. That being said, Guest clearly tried to walk it back and resume friendly communication. Host really escalated it and interpreted things like the unassigned parking comment WAY too personally. Cancelling was completely inappropriate and unprofessional.

  • The guest should have not assumed the parking was included, but the response of the host was way to dramatic. The host ultimately ends up in the wrong via overreaction
    OP: tell us were you the host or guest? What will you change in the future?

    • The other question is, at what point will the other party see this post and ask PoP to take it down? Haha….

    • from context clues I assume with some certainty, the host is the OP

    • I didn’t catch the second part of your question. I think, with the benefit of hindsight and popville commentors, I should not have ended my first response on the question about why parking wasn’t already settled, but had added something to make it clear that I was more confused and less like I was trying to be cheap, and then, in my response to her next message, I should have just said no thank you to the parking and moved on. And probably should have thanked her for offering to address that in her future ads.
      But, I certainly did let my ego and emotions come in, because I thought I was being taken advantage of, even for a measley $25. Ultimately, it wasn’t at all about the cost of the parking, it was that I felt like it should have been clear from the get-go.

  • How about a thread on life beside a neighbor who traffics their apartment via Air BnB?
    In a twinkle, I now live beside an inn, when once I did not.
    People from Nigeria. Australia.
    I set up a refreshment stand outside. I offer maps.

  • I really want to know why the guest assumed parking was included. To be so thorough as to bring in a couch and wifi… but not secure the parking when they clearly felt they needed it? That doesn’t make sense to me.

    • Also, to balk at paying $25 when you feel you need the parking is strange to me. I wonder what neighborhood this is in.

    • It didn’t make sense to me either. Parking is the #1 issue when my parents come to town, so it was one of the things I was searching for. That’s why I felt pretty strongly that it had been included, but as you (I think, maybe someone else), pointed out, the listing simply could have said “parking available” and not “parking included”. When I went back to look at the listing, it didn’t mention parking at all.

  • host is an asshole. he/she went from 0 to 100 REAL QUICK, smh

  • team guest. if host has the ability to type all that bs, he/she could’ve typed “parking is available for a fee” in her airbnb listing.

  • Host is 100% in the wrong.

  • Thanks for sharing this unfortunate exchange.
    It reinforces why Air BnB is not for me.

  • I think both are wrong.
    .
    GUEST: If parking is not explicitly included, then it’s not included. Parking is an expensive commodity in this city, and the idea that it’d be included by default is COMPLETELY baseless. Completely. Of course, this is assuming that there was no mention of parking on on the listing, which I obviously can’t know for sure.
    .
    HOST: The reasoning I included above is the reasoning that should’ve been used (though more nicely than how I said it). The fact that nobody’s ever taken issue with it is irrelevant; people are airBnBing from all over and may not realize how unreasonable an expectation of included parking may or may not be. Consider specifying nearby garage rates in the neighborhood or pointing them to Parking Panda so they can see for themselves. You could also let them know that street parking is an option, along with a few details about how easy/available it is in the neighborhood. Lastly, airBnBing is a for-pay business venture; this person is not a personal guest in your home for you to demand the utmost courtesy from. Tell them parking is not included and you never said it was included; if they protest further, apologize for the confusion and offer to cancel if they’re dissatisfied.

  • I submitted to POPville, and I was the guest. I had a work emergency come up, and am just now getting to reading the comments. I haven’t had a chance to go through all of them, but I appreciate all the input.

    I live in DC, and the listing was in fact for family members. Since I live in the area, and my family has visited often, I know parking is an issue. I distinctly remember the listing as including one parking spot, and I communicated that to my family. It was the selling point of the listing. It is very well possible that I was incorrect, because when I looked at the listing it isn’t specified, but yes, it made me suspicious. But it isn’t like me to remember such a crucial detail so incorrectly (but certainly possible). But to be clear: I wasn’t asking for free parking. I had assumed it was included in the list price, and was surprised that it wasn’t. And, I have several friends who live in the building that shares parking with the listing’s building, and they told me that the listing building did not use assigned spots. Also, could very well be wrong.

    Yes, I didn’t include other conversations. They were polite and cordial. The previous email basically said I could pick up the key with the concierge and then asked if we needed parking.

    I do need to let it go. And this is helping! So thanks.

    • I guess my ultimate question: is it normal to add charges right before the reservation?

      • Again, I actually do appreciate everyone’s comments, even those that called me a jerk. I’ve been pretty torn up to think I did something to justify the host’s reaction, but I think the consensus is that while I’m not blameless, the reaction was not justified. This gives me a lot to think about, and has helped me reframe this experience as a growth opportunity. It’s interesting to hear the different perspectives. I personally thought that because we paid more for the “extra” services (wifi and sofa should be pretty standard in a dc airbnb though), that it doesn’t count as high maintenance. I also think asking a question about a last minute charge is a legitimate question. But, other people disagree. So, I’ll try to learn from this interaction and move on. Thanks!

        • The parking issue is impossible to decide without seeing the original listing. I will say that having booked AirBnB here, NY and SF and needing parking in all three, it can be very hard to determine from listings wether parking is included.
          .
          The host is definitely a little off the rails here, but you were also totally inappropriate.
          .
          It started as terse, but when HOST specifically offers you “designated parking” in the 3/5/16 at 1:07 PM message, you respond by saying in your 3/5/16 at 3:40 PM that host’s building does not have designated parking. That’s so confrontational and completely inappropriate. Given your awareness of HOST’s touchiness to begin with, it should not have come as a surprise that HOST flew off the handle when you accused them of lying.
          .
          The appropriate thing to do would be just to thank them for the parking, pay them or not, and apologize for the confusion. If the parking turned out to NOT in fact be designated you could deal with that after the fact.

          • I’ll also add that your self-assessment of the situation appears way more favorable to yourself than the comments do.
            .
            If the goal of this was to have unbiased observers gauge whether you were in the wrong, I’d read the comments a little more closely.
            .
            Obvious HOST was a little off the wall, but you were too.

          • Okay, petworther. Noted. I agree in part; I should have just said no thank you to the parking, and left everything else out. I disagree in part, too, though, in that part of my inappropriate emotional reaction was in response to her initial inappropriate emotional reaction to my question, which was a genuine question because I legitimately thought parking had been included in the listing. But yes, I shouldn’t have reacted, even if justified.

          • Are you trying to say two wrongs make a right here?
            .
            Obviously this person is overly sensitive, but when you interact with someone who is overly sensitive I’m not sure why you’re surprised they react sharply when you flat out accuse them of lying.
            .
            I’m guessing HOST is an inexperienced host and not used to having people in her space. She’s probably a little sensitive about making sure she has responsible guests, so when you basically accused her of lying it’s not surprising she felt sufficiently gross about the interaction to not want you in her house.
            .
            That’s the difference between AirBnB and a hotel. There’s some basic social aspect to it since you’re not in a hotel you’re (often) in someone’s personal residence. It sometimes takes the more delicate social touch that clearly neither of you are emotionally equipped to handle.

        • Ally

          Try not to stress over it too much, if you are. We all occasionally do things that irritate other people and often, their reactions just make no sense. The fact that you posted and followed-up says you’re trying to do the right thing and are self-aware, which is more than post people are on a day to day basis 🙂

      • I, personally, would never add charges right before a reservation and it would have made me uneasy if someone had done this to me. (At the same time, I probably would have avoided Air BnB all together and just gone with a hotel. So I might not be a good reference point.)

      • Well, if you thought parking was included and therefore didn’t mention it, I don’t find it that odd that the Host didn’t think to ask until the last minute. I think most guests who need parking and see that its not included mention that sooner, but since you didn’t realize it was not included they were trying to accommodate you right before the reservation.

        I think you were wrong for misreading the description and therefore in thinking that parking was included, but the host overreacted and sounds emotional.

      • I haven’t had anyone add charges right before the reservation, but when it comes to something that I know I really need/want in a reservation (like parking) I make sure to explicitly ask what the parking situation is and if there’s an extra charge prior to reserving. When I booked AirBnBs in France quite a few said “parking available”, which more often than not meant that there’s a public paid lot down the street. I guess the general rule of thumb is don’t assume anything and clarify everything (unless it’s a detail you don’t care about).
        .
        Personally, I think your initial, “why wasn’t this discussed…” comment was short, but the host went absolutely overboard in his/her response. All that was necessary was to note that free parking is not in the listing and it’s generally not brought up unless a guest asks, which is why it wasn’t discussed earlier.
        .
        Side note: any chance this unit is in Woodley Park? It vaguely reminds me of when I inquired about renting a parking spot from someone there. After a couple of emails back and forth she insisted on me signing a lease, at which point I thanked her for her time but said I wasn’t prepared to do so right then (hadn’t had a chance to go see it, hadn’t even moved to the neighborhood yet), and I understand if this doesn’t work with her timeline and she wants to find another renter. I then received a series of scathing emails and voice messages about how I’m a liar, inconsiderate, scamming her, etc etc. Her voice was actually shaking with rage in one of the messages. I know there’s two sides to every story, but I swear to God I was polite and professional in my communications with her up until that point…

    • “Unassigned spots” is not the same as “anyone can park here.”

  • I’m wondering if a question was asked by the Host regarding parking, initiating the parking discussion based on the “GUEST: Awesome. And yes, we do need parking, please.” It just seems odd that the Guest would say “And yes” if the Host hadn’t first asked “Do you need parking?”
    I’m #teamguest. I didn’t find anything particularly terse or short in the response from the Guest that others are seeing.

    • Yes, in the previous email the host asked if we needed parking, as well as providing details on how to get in the building.

  • I would appreciate if the OP (whether they are the host or guest) explains the couch and wifi situation. Was a couch purchased and wifi installed for a 5 day visit? Was the host somehow going to limit access to these amenities (seems easy enough with wifi, but how do you limit someone sitting on a couch?)? I have so many questions about the beginning of this whole thing!

    • +1 It seems like there are two possible scenarios for how the couch/internet thing unfolded…

      1. Guest books room thinking couch/internet are included (maybe there is a couch in the pictures). Then finds out they aren’t and agrees to the extra fee. Then, when it turns out parking isn’t included either, guest is peeved and thinks they are getting nickle and dimed.

      2. Couch/internet clearly never included, but guest asks for them and host goes out of way to provide. Then, when asked about parking, host feels guest is needy and demanding and gets upset.

      How we interpret the reaction to the parking issue really requires the context of the on the couch/internet interaction.

      • This is a perfectly reasonable explanation for why this got so stupidly out of hand, so I don’t know why the OP Guest didn’t come out with this rationale first and foremost in their comment above.

    • The listing specified no couch currently, and no wifi/cable. I think the listing said a couch was forthcoming, or perhaps that came up when I inquired about the property. I thought it was odd to have an otherwise furnished place but with no seating. Anyways, the host agreed to provide a couch, and agreed to wifi/cable because the place was going under a long-term rental at the end of the month and they would have installed it then anyways. They raised the price, though not much, for those amenities. All these were agreed to before booking the room.

      • Also, it seems like you asked all these questions about furniture and wifi without explicitly asking about parking.
        .
        So, I’m going Team Host based on these new details. Even though they’re obvs crazypants and should consider not airbnb’ing.

      • I’m more sympathic to the host after reading this. Whether they said so to you or not, adding the wifi and couch was probably a decent burden on them. When you were terse about parking, they probably felt put out and disrespected, and after going out of their way to get you a couch and wifi, thought you were being ungracious. Personally, I think your response about parking was fine, but in context can see how the host might be exasperated. I don’t think they should have cancelled the listing, but it seems like both were in the wrong here. You were a high maintenance guest, and they lost patience.

        • I’d find this argument more compelling if we hadn’t agreed to pay more for those things, and/or if we had asked for those things after the fact. Host did not make it sound like either were that big of a deal, and agreed to them before accepting our reservation.

    • Me too! I am really curious why an airbnb apartment wouldn’t have a couch in the first place. And if it didn’t, why would the guest ask the host to procure one? And why would the host agree! I have so many questions!

      • I assume that the host would agree because, at the end of the day, s/he wants to rent out their place. And if they were planning on getting one anyway, okay, we’ll just accelerate and get it done much faster than we had intended. The host is probably fundamentally batty, but also may have agreed to a too-small extra charge for the couch/wifi and just got pushed over the edge that now guest expected parking for free.

  • I just can’t wait for the other person in this exchange to show up. “I’m the X and let me tell you…!!!!!”

  • OP, I think the host you dealt with sounds insane and is clearly hypersensitive, and clearly must have a hard time in the world with all of the people and their “tones.” He/she is clearly “disturbed” very easily, and I wonder how they make it around this city. I would personally out that host for being so ridiculously hard to communicate with so that people know not to deal with him/her in the future.

    On another note, you have probably found — as I have from doing what you did — that while the Popville community is great for many things, they tend to be very eager to tell someone seeking feedback that they are an idiot or a jerk. It behooves me that anyone would read the dialogue you posted and conclude that “you’re both jerks.” You’re a paying customer, and you were inquiring about something. Don’t apologize, and don’t let the “jerks” on here let you think you did anything wrong.

  • You’re both completely insane.

  • Let me get this straight. You booked a place a month out that didn’t have any of the amenities you were looking for. Next time set your expectations with how much you’re willing to pay. Host did you a favor.

  • Agree with those who said that neither side is really in the right here. But the Host seemed to unreasonably escalate things by interpreting the Guest’s decision to turn down parking as an attack on the Host’s integrity.

    Agree with the Guest’s observation that someone who can’t handle people asking questions should not be in the business of providing hospitality.

  • Here’s your first mistake – renting a place that didn’t come with a couch or wifi. Anyone would expect that a 2 bedroom condo would come with these. It was clear you are dealing with a cheapskate. Should have moved on right then and there..

    So, you negotiated for what you needed instead. OK. So maybe the listed included parking originally, or maybe it said it was available but was unclear about whether you would be charged. Maybe the listing changed and the host was trying to get a little extra money last minute because they were bringing in the couch and wifi (or maybe the couch and wifi were already there, but that allowed the host to begin in inquiries with a cheaper price and then negotiate up by saying these items could be added.) Maybe they purposely bring up parking later, so as to collect more fee from those who want it. Whichever.

    You should have made clear about whether parking was included – in writing – when making the reservation. I always am clear about this when booking hotels, as it can be very pricy in cities if not. Also, even if the host was nickel and diming you after the fact by charing for parking that had not been laid out clearly in writing before, it was a small amount, so better to just pay it. People in business do this all the time. I don’t like it when it happens to me, but you just realize you are dealing with a nickel and dimer, I feel sorry for them, I be the bigger person, pay up and move on without rancor. Because this happens a lot in life. That is, when I want the service. As these emails continued, it was clear you were dealing with someone unhinged, and rather than continue to email with them, if you didn’t truly need the place, you should have ended the relationship there, since you still had a hotel reservation. (Though you may have been better off as an Air B&B user for having the host cancel – I don’t know the rules on that.)

    This is why I prefer to book hotels rather than use Air B&B. There are a lot of unhinged, desperate, crazy people out there trying to rent out rooms to make a buck of you. There is no way a condo would allow its owners to rent out short-term on Air B&B anyway, so you are already dealing with someone renting under the radar – never a good situation.

    • “There is no way a condo would allow its owners to rent out short-term on Air B&B anyway”
      .
      I think that is exactly why the host couched the transaction as “personal” rather than “professional”, because it is probably an illegal AirB&B.

      • I agree with this. But OP Guest said Host told her to pick up the key with the concierge. Which is… also odd.

        • Not so odd. Many condos have keys at the desk that you can leave written instructions for others to pick up – be they your houseguests, your cleaner, your babysitter, contractors, dog walkers, etc. There’s no way to tell if your guests with luggage are paying ones or not without asking them.

  • Small clarification: Host keeps saying “you’re going to be a guest in my home” – was this a rental of an entire apartment where the Guest would be there by themselves because Host lives elsewhere, or was this a listing for a shared space where Guest would be in the extra bedroom of the place Host actually lives full time?
    .
    Host comes off sounding like a whacko best-to-be-avoided type, for sure, but I’ll give a LOT more latitude to someone who is going to be actually sharing the space with you, which is much different from engaging in the commerce of leasing your apartment for a profit as a business venture.

    • We were renting the entire apartment. My understanding is that it it not the host’s primary residence.

      • It may well have been the host’s primary residence, and they were staying in a room elsewhere to rent out their home and make money. Happens all the time. Times are desperate for a lot of folks.

        • Kinda doubt it’s the host’s primary residence considering the lack of a couch/wifi.

        • No, listing said they live elsewhere. Also, FridayGirl, the listing had three reviews, one of which indicated the host had also cancelled their reservation within 48 hours of the stay.

          • This is one of the most important comments of this whole thread. GUEST, you were somewhat curt, but HOST is super sensitive and should not be in the business of dealing directly with customers, no matter their living situation or desire to make extra cash. HOST is bonkers.

  • Host seems to way overreact in the beginning to what is a question and I suppose could be seen as slightly rude. By the end both host and guest are acting poorly. The quick overreaction by the host makes me wonder what the communications were like prior to this (i.e. regarding getting the couch, etc) – it seems like something earlier had the host weary of the guest otherwise the host is totally nuts.

  • Without a doubt, HOST caused this train wreck, and completely lacks emotional intelligence for having to ask.

    Note to file: never, ever rent his/her place 😉

  • Seems like a lot of airbnb hosts have commented and I have a general question. If your listing doesn’t charge for extra people and lists no rules limiting extra people, would you expect a renter to tell you they had two additional guests coming when the rental sleeps 4 but has a big sectional couch? Again, no rules against extra guests stated and no charge for extra guests on the listing.

    • Personally I wouldn’t expect a renter to tell me about an extra person if it says it sleeps 4 and leaves it at that. (And actually, it seems people do whatever they want anyway. When I subletted my apartment I specifically asked how many people were staying — was told “just one” and then came home and found out two people lived there most of the summer. But I just shrugged and moved on.)

      • Explains why they were so mad about the bed.

        • It does! That’s why I couldn’t be too upset about the bed comment or both of them staying — wasn’t MY issue that they didn’t tell me two people were staying AND failed to read! They could have saved themselves a headache.

    • Andie302

      As a host, I would appreciate it. It’s just good to know, especially if you already know they aren’t going to charge you.

  • I’m on the side of the guest. I don’t think the guest was out of line at all (not rude, etc.), and I don’t understand why the host went totally bananas and cancelled the reservation. Guest, don’t sweat it. On a side note, most condos prohibit short terms rentals.

  • The HOST sounds like an awful person.

  • OP: The other guy might be a jerk, but you’re the one using the Internet to mediate your anger/embarrassment/shame. Consider asking yourself why that is. Find an answer to THAT question, instead of this trifling matter.

    • I stated that up front: it’s an opportunity to gain insight into different perspectives of a situation I was having difficulty seeing. It’s been successful on that front.

  • The host is completely wrong. He/She is the business person here and should be providing some customer service. The host could have just replied with a “I’m sorry about the misunderstanding…..” Team Guest on this one

  • As someone who moves in 50-70 people a year into several apartment buildings, mainly relying on email to arrange all the details beforehand, I’d say HOST was unfamiliar with the basics of hospitality. They should have apologized for any miscommunication, reviewed their ad to ensure it was clear (even if it was in the first place), and then asked whether the GUEST would accept parking at the rate offered, while being allowed to complain about the tone/situation to friends later. The fact is, a lot of guests might be haughty or terse or whiny or privileged, (especially when it comes to parking in this city) but a host shouldn’t take it personally, and should just cash their checks and not drive away future business.

    • Just curious… does the building management in these apartment buildings know that you’re Airbnb-ing the units? (Or the condo association, if you’re doing it in condo buildings?)

      • I didn’t read that A Good HOST was an Air BnB host. I assumed they were a property manager of some sort…

      • In my experience, most Airbnb-ers either don’t know or don’t care about their condo rules, lease restrictions or business licensing surrounding this kind of arrangement. The condo association rules in my building prohibit this as does the zoning for our building. Both host and guest open themselves up to huge liabilities if something goes wrong — and Airbnb won’t help you.

    • Yes this. If you are the service provider, you should always be the bigger person. Stop assuming you can know what someone’s tone is. They might just be a bad writer.

  • The Guest sounds like a huge jerk. Asking to be accommodated beyond what was listed and then getting super childish about parking that wasn’t a part of the listing. Sounds like a spoiled brat.

    • They didn’t ask to be accommodated for free though. They just asked a question about the parking – they did not demand that it be free. They didn’t even demand that it be included at all – just a question and a thought that it had been included originally.

  • I think both parties are at fault:

    Host is at fault for thinking that it is a good idea to rent out their place on AirBnb
    Guest is at fault for thinking it is a good idea to rent a place on AirBnb.

    Comparable prices for good hotel rooms can be had online with minimal effort. If you don’t like your room, they have others. You can sue a hotel or dispute a charge. Also, if you are discriminated against you have recourse.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-12-10/study-finds-racial-discrimination-by-airbnb-hosts

    I don’t trust strangers enough to deal with all that.

  • Both wrong.

    Guest started it by making it seem accusatory like the host was trying to sneak parking in there as a hidden expense even though $25 is very reasonable. But Host seemed like they didn’t really care to have them because guest was already being a pain asking for extra things that weren’t originally included (“creature comforts”) and here is one more thing guest is asking for–for free. Sounds like it wasn’t a luxury rental to begin with and guest is asking for alot. But Host also had enough I think. I think Guest is worst.

  • team guest…. tone is hard on email and i feel like the host freaked out unnecessarily….

  • team guest…. tone is hard on email and i feel like the host freaked out unnecessarily…. super annoying because the stay is one week out

  • Tone should not and cannot be “read”. It only gets you in trouble. My rule of thumb is to read every email/text/social media post in a way that puts the writer in the best light. I give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Otherwise you read things that weren’t intended. I don’t see where the GUEST calls the HOST a liar. I do think the GUEST should have probably left out the part about the shared parking spaces. There was no reason to include this and it only served to rile up the HOST. I think the HOST really over-reacted to the question about parking and whether it was included originally or not. It is possible to read the GUEST’s prior email as angry or questioning but also possible to read it as totally neutral and without emotion and just as an inquiry. THERE CAN BE NO TONE IN EMAIL! This drives me crazy. People get so worked up and upset because they infer a tone that should never be inferred. This is one reason I really do hate email. If you read the words and their plain meaning is not negative, one should not assume that they are meant negative. “F’ you, Jerk! You said parking was included, you liar.” is negative and accuses the HOST of lying. “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.” can be read neutrally and should be read as such. For anyone who deals with customers or clients via email or text, you just must remove all emotion and read the words in the plain meaning they have and without projecting tone on to them. I have seen business owners make terrible mistakes and assumptions, turn down business, and otherwise make a mess of situations simply because they over-reacted to a perceived email tone that did not exist on the other side.

  • I’m still baffled that someone would negotiate a couch and wifi? I consider a hot tub a creature comfort when I Airbnb, but I’m not going to ask for it. I’ll just find a place with a hot tub.

  • I’m 99% sure that HOST is my old landlord: deflect, freak out, then overexplain until the other party gives up. That being said, I would pay actual money to watch both of these people attempt to interact with their coworkers in a standard office environment. First person to place a passive aggressive note on the coffee maker about “respecting each other’s needs” wins a prize!

  • Without reading may other comments so as not to color my perception — I think the host is in the wrong here. Unless there’s more to the story than we’ve gotten, (1) I don’t see where the potential guest had an objectionable tone and (2) even if he did, I don’t know that it rises to he level of being able to back out of the agreement.

    It is odd to me that a guest would assume parking were included unless that was specifically mentioned (though I could see this being an easy mistake to make if you’re not from an urban area). But it is equally odd to me that the host asked at the 11th hour about something so fundamental, and then got huffy when the person (understandably so) asked why this additional charge hadn’t been mentioned before. All of us on DC can understand that $25 is incredibly low for 5-day guaranteed spot, but if I were in the guest’s position, I’d question any additional fee being tacked on at the end of a deal too. So all in all, my position is that the host was out of line here (mainly for making a mountain out of a molehill, it seems to me). Curious to go back and read what others think though…

  • THis feels like the PoP version of that damn color-changing dress.

  • As an Airbnb host, one of my complaints about the website is that the only option for parking amenities is “Free Parking on Premises”. There is no option to select “Parking Available for a Fee.” When I first started hosting, I left the “Free Parking on Premises” box unchecked, and then explained in the listing that parking was available for X dollars per night. Unfortunately that meant that people would overlook my listing when searching for a place with parking because the parking box wasn’t checked. So, I decided to make parking free so that I could attract more visitors to my listing.

  • I rent my home out on AirBnB, and agree that both the guest and the host were wrong here. I personally would have had the same mental reaction to the guest’s note as the host did, though I wouldn’t have written it out because, to the guest’s point, it’s completely unprofessional (not to mention crazy pants).

    However, I will say this: don’t inquire about a rental on Airbnb if it doesn’t meet your needs as is. From the host’s perspective, you started out by asking for a couch and Wifi, which obviously weren’t in the house and a pain to add to the space, especially for only a few days. You (the guest) are right, these ARE standard in the 100 or so other listings on the site. So why didn’t you try to rent one of those other apartments? Why did you bother this host to have those “creature comforts” added?

    My guess is that the price of this place was cheap (it should be without a couch or Wifi). And you get what you pay for. From the host’s perspective, you aggravated them first by asking for items that were clearly listed as not being in the home. Then you came back with a snippy comment about the parking not being included. Then you tried to tell them you knew more about their building than they did when it came to the parking. Honestly, I would have canceled your reservation, too, though in a much nicer fashion. I’ve dealt with guests like you before and they end up being royal pains who leave 3 star reviews in the end. In short, not worth it.

    In the future, save yourself and the host a lot of trouble by only inquiring about places that actually meet your requirements.

  • YOU CANNOT READ TONE IN AN EMAIL PEOPLE!!!!

    Assuming tone via digital messaging is moronic. SO MUCH is lost in translation.

    Do not assume anything in an email, because there is NO WAY TO READ TONE!

    • This is especially true nowadays because tons of emails are composed while people are on the bus/train/in conversation/etc so certain pleasantries get left out. Short utilitarian emails can easy read as curt/rude/blunt especially if you’re already feeling defensive about something. Gotta have some self-awareness and deploy some professionalism and not express any of that.

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