Adam's words are not a good reflection of what happens.
The truth :
This was my very first experience as a host on AirBnb and I wanted it to be perfect.
The apartment had been cleaned up / scrubbed to a professional standard by specialists.
All instructions for check-in had been double checked 10 times and welcoming treats were left in the fridge and on the table.
To summarize, I wanted them to be nothing less than delighted with their stay, I would not treat them as "customers" but literally as my own family.
The key moment : After 4 days, the building lift went out of service.
This could happen anywhere but I felt extremely bad my hosts were not getting the best service. Extremely bad really.
I kept harassing the management days and nights while providing daily support to Adam.
I also immediately reassured him I would offer a fair compensation for it.
As the resolution was taking long, his attitude changed, first he became distant, then hostile.
He stopped to answer phone calls and started to log as much as he could on AirBnb.
Eventually he asked for a steep refund (about 50% on the impacted days).
Our apartment is on the second floor. I was literally shocked and even felt insulted.
After a bit of insistence, my poor husband managed to get Adam on the phone to try to understand his request but was briefly and rudely talked to before being hung up on
"This is business okay ? I am a business man, I know what business is. We're not gonna agree here so I'll raise a request on the website. We're done."
Adam's battle through the website did not go as planned though and he was politely dismissed.
Out of fairness, I offered him the compensation I - and AirBnb's mediator - thought was just : 20% on the whole stay.
But obviously, I got this unpleasant feedback.
Answers to Adam's points:
- Gym : This was my very first experience on AirBnB. The management was unclear whether Adam could use it. I sent Adam an email before his arrival to warn him he may not be able to access it.
"Noted, no problem !" was his answer. I was relieved but decided to offer a compensation for it anyway (to be 100% fair with my guest).
This issue was brought again later - and even became a critical one - when Adam started his battle for his refund.
- Cleanliness : The apartment was cleaned / scrubbed to a professional standard before Adam's arrival. Objectively it was immaculate. Adam's review : 2 stars. I guess it speaks for itself.
- Scaffolding : A neighbour had his window replaced, which I was unaware of. I immediately enquired with the management and conveyed all the information I could collect to Adam (so that he would have full visibility throughout the operation).
As per Adam's own feedback the next day : the disturbance was actually minor, he had panicked at the sight of the scaffolding.
Unsurprisingly, the "minor disturbance" became a major issue later again, when money was at stake.
- Development Location : The Kew / Richmond area is among the fanciest and most beautiful ones in West London but as many other locations in West London, it is in the path of a landing route to Heathrow Airport, which is 10km away.
Nowadays, most air-crafts use what they call "Continuous Descent Approach" to limit the disturbance. Overall, the noise level is arguably lower than a street nearby for instance.
More information on Heathrow's website : (Website hidden by Airbnb)
- Development and Apartment Standing : The development was signed by St Georges in 2004, the buildings are surrounded by large green spaces with selected trees and flowers species constantly maintained clean and tidy.
A no-car policy is enforced (all cars are parked underground), which allows kids to play safely outside and on the green spaces.
The development also features a pool, gym and 24/7 concierge.
The building itself is 50m away from the Thames path, which offers a beautiful scenery and an ideal place for walking or cycling along the river.
The affordable houses built by TVHA are imposed by London councils - 30% of any new development, which our guest may dislike but is a necessity for most first time buyers to enter the expensive London house market - and spread across the entire complex.
These are pretty and quiet 3 or 4 storeys buildings, designed to mix well with the whole development and make it look consistent and harmonious.
The apartment is 1,000ft with 2 bathrooms, 2 bedrooms and a very spacious and bright living room.
The location is objectively luxurious. Adam's feedback is basically dishonest.
More than customers, I am treating my guests as my own family, literally. I want them to be delighted with their stay and remember it.
I am offering the exact same service that I am looking for when travelling with my family : A great place to stay, hosted by caring and honest people.