Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Not only Java. my first (and last) experience with Airbnb

Driven more by the desire of a personal challenge, than by the lust for money, I have put on Airbnb a room for a short (10 days) period. I was really determined to treat my guest in a very friendly manner, and make his experience a pleasant one. So I spent the weekend cleaning carefully the house, biking 30 Km to IKEA to buy some extra furniture, then to ALDI and buy extra bedsheet and towels. On the whole, a lot of sweat just to get things ready.

The guy arrives, half an hour late (being half Swiss, I can't possibly conceive being 5 minutes late without at least call and beg for pardon... .half an hour for me is unconceivable...). We exchange a short conversation where I try to make him feel welcome, he seem a bit reserved so I leave him alone. The guy is from New York, then moved to California. I have worked in both places, I thought it would be a good subject for conversation, I was wrong. I even offer him to use my bicycle to make him feel that I am there to help, but he really stays very reserved.

The day after, he sends me 8 frantic message at office (I was in the middle of some production issues, so it was quite stressful to have to answer his insistent emails) complaining that there was no hot water. Well, I have lived for years without running hot water, one can easily heat some water on the stove.... no, he seems to find this experience as DRAMATIC. I decide to give him 2 days rent back just to appease him for the lack of hot water for 2 days (root cause: some unexpected maintenance work in the heating system). He grabs the money without any hesitation. I would have said "never mind, it's not your fault". He just took the money and not even said thanks.

For the rest of the time, he hardly says hello. On the first days, he leaves the WC in a pitiful state, and I have to work very hard to clean it... but again, I don't complain, I want my guest to be happy. But his total lack of communication (only emails) really makes me nervous. I start really repenting for having put myself in this situation, of sharing my house with a total stranger who wants to remain such.

Then on the day of departure I ask him to leave with me at 8.30 in the morning, because I am very afraid that he might forget the key, and I offer him again an extra day of rent for compensation. So in total he pays 230 CHF for 10 days in Zurich, while on average Airbnb hosts charge you 800.

AFTER he left, I receive this review:

I wouldn't ask anyone for their passport information.
Buy an Iron for people to iron their clothes. Checking out early in the morning isn't ideal for most people.
I would say assume that you will have nothing but female travelers so your bathroom has to be spotless.
Have a dresser or something where people can unpack and put their clothes in during their stay.
It will make them feel more at home.”

Your guest suggested that your space could be cleaner in the following areas: Bathroom Shower

I was totally shocked: for 23 CHF a day in Zurich the guy expects room service and 5 star hotel. He simply ignores the CRAP that he left in the WC and expects me to be fully at his service. Then he even complains for the early checkout even if I have given him a full day compensation for it.

I am sorry, never again. I understand that being a host takes really a lot of patience - I have very little, I can't stand arrogant people. And stingy miserable shameless misers, who want only to receive without giving anything.

I have found this article describing quite well my experience "In the early days, there were sweet guests who brought gifts, followed the rules and genuinely wanted to get to know the person they were living with or living under. Over time though, guests seem to be more driven by finding cheap accommodations and the demands are ever increasing. "

PS I have nothing against AirBNB, it's a wonderful platform, very user-friendly and amazingly functional. They are not responsible if some people are a pain in the bass.

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