Upon check-in, I always show guests where my mailbox is so that if they need to leave earlier than my arrival on the day of their departure, they can drop the keys into my mailbox. One day before their check-out, I remind them that I’ll arrive around 11am and send them a picture of my mailbox in case of early departure.
A couple with a baby wrote me two days before their departure telling me that they would leave around 7am and asking me in which mailbox they should leave the keys. As usual I wrote them "Our mailbox (labelled “XXXXX”) is on the left hand side in the middle row (see photo).
I didn’t find any keys in my letterbox on arrival. I called the guests and wrote to them asking if they still had the keys with them. (If so, they could return them to me by registered mail.) I called Airbnb who asked me to request money (before the check-in of the following guests) and put an estimated amount (subject to modification based on the eventual quotation of a locksmith).
I put an estimated amount of 800€ to cover the replacement of 3 locks by a locksmith, the replacement of 2 heavy-duty bike-locks, the replacement of a lock cylinder by myself and a duplication of 2 entrance keys to our residence.
It was a very stressful day. While preparing the apartment for the follwing guests, I wrote an anonymous message asking neighbours who find the keys to return them a a neighbour whom I know well, I was obliged to rush to the locksmith to buy a replacement lock cylindre for the glass-door (the only one I’m able to replace by myself), and then to the sports shop to buy two new bike locks (for locking baby buggy in the courtyard by next guests). I had paid 115€ for these 3 items.
Seventy-two hours after opening the claim file with the resolution centre, as the couple who lost the keys still hadn’t answered me, I involved Airbnb. The locksmith gave me a quotation of 600€ to replace the 3 locks on our main door and the duplication of 2 keys of the residence entrances.
The same evening, the couple wrote me to say that they were sorry about the lost keys but they had left them in my mailbox. I said that I had already involved Airbnb. They declined to pay and gave me 3 stars and the following review :
<< Our stay at Mei Yu’s place was very comfortable for my husband and I and our 17 month old toddler. The location is excellent and within walking distance to all main attractions. There are many restaurants to choose from and a convenient grocery store within a 5 minute walk. The place is spacious and clean. Upon leaving, we placed the keys in the mailbox as instructed and shown to me by Mei Yu, however, I received a message from Mei Yu stating that the keys were not there. I am 100% certain that I placed the keys in the correct mailbox. I even requested a picture of the mailbox again the night before we departed . Unfortunately, this situation with the keys has soured our whole experience. Mei Yu has requested payment for replacement of her locks in the amount of $1100. AirBnB has been handling this whole situation, however, it has been nearly 2 weeks and there has been no resolution. Having done exactly as instructed, this is extremely frustrating because I am not responsible for her missing keys. >>
No neighbours have returned my keys. Airbnb’s guarantee has paid me 600€ instead of 715€ saying that the 3 locks were not new. The couple has caused me a lot of stress and has made me waste a lot of time writing, calling, running to buy this and that, asking for a quotation and answering the nonsense messages of the Resolution Centre. The couple hasn’t paid a cent for their mistake and they gave me only 3 stars, just to take revenge.
I asked Airbnb to delete the review but, of course, the person in charge replied me 3 weeks later to refuse to delete it because it hasn’t violated any of their regulations. He suggested that I write an answer to the review.
I just feel that the couple has taken revenge because I dared asked them for so much money. I feel that my apartment wasn’t rated according to its quality. Besides, the wife lied in her review, she said that she “even requested a picture of the mailbox”. She has never asked for a photo of the mailbox. I’m keeping a photo of it in my cell phone, I send it automatically to all my guests in case of early check-out.
Can I have your opinions? Should I answer to the review? Would you please make any suggestions?