I’m in Ecuador right now and at one of my two Airbnbs a guest checked in about 36 hours ago. There is an interior door to the condo that separates the foyer from the rest of the condo. It’s there to keep the heat in. I forgot that there was a bedroom type lock on it, the kind that can be turned to lock and lock the door once it is closed. It’s a new condo–for me–and I don’t have a key for it.
I got an “emergency” message from him this afternoon, telling me he’d locked the door by accident. I tried messaging and texting and for about 2 hours he was incommunicado. Then, when he did finally answer, he sounded a bit high-handed (I’d been sending messages asking him to please contact me and asked why he wasn’t answering.) He said he had tools in his car, but that when he tried to remove the doorknob, he couldn’t. I told him that the only solution was to call a locksmith.
So I went online and sent him a number. However, he messaged me back and said that he’d “called a local one.” This is weird 'cause it’s Boxing Day, right? And if you go onto google, the first one up is the one whose number I sent.
Anyway, he messaged me back and said he was in the condo, but that he’d paid in cash because he could avoid taxes. Avoiding taxes also means, of course, no receipt. (I’d offered to reimburse him since I didn’t have a key). The amount came out to exactly what Airbnb would allow me to refund him–almost exactly what he’d paid. (Emergency locksmiths are expensive in my city.)
Because of all the kerfuffle, I sent the amount of refund, but right afterwards, asked him for the name or phone number of the locksmith. I’ve asked three times and he’s ignored the question, said he was going out to dinner and would do it later, and finally, when I insisted, said his GF had used his phone to make dinner reservations and there were so many numbers on his phone, he didn’t know which number was which, but that he would google them tomorrow.
I am suspicious, even though it sounds like a probable scenario. So I went back to the resolution center refund I’d offered and checked. He hadn’t cashed it in yet, so I changed the amount to $5 instead of the total amount. I sent a message to him–through the resolution centre–that once I verified that he’d actually paid, I would refund the total. I just said that despite the Airbnb system being safe and secure, I was concerned about a scam and really needed to have verification.
I’m out of town, this emergency situation has upset my day, and now he’s acting like he has all the time in the world to give me the information. I’m a bit upset–perhaps wrongly–but I thought I’d put this out there for feedback. I need to get back to my holiday.