What just happened? And HOW TO REVIEW?

Hello everyone

Long-time listener, first-time caller here. I hope you wise people can give me some insight into a recent odd stay, and maybe offer me some advice on how best to proceed. I hope you’ll bear with me during this rather long tale.

A while ago I accepted an instant booking from a fellow I’m going to call ‘Amis’ (name changed). Here is our initial exchange verbatim (we’ll, except for names and country of origin):

Amis: Hi Diana good day, I’ll be arriving at London Heathrow airport at 20th July 6am and I would like to request an early check-in is that possible for you to rearrange check-in time for us?

Me: Hi Amis

Thanks for booking with me, and I look forward to meeting you in a few weeks! I’m happy to say that as you’re arriving on a Saturday, when I won’t be at work, I can let you check in as soon as you arrive. I’ll expect you any time from 8 am. I noticed you refer to ‘us’ - are there in fact two of you? You’ve only booked for one person. It makes no difference to the price, but I’d like to know how many towels to leave out!

I’m sure you’ve read my listing thoroughly, but if you have any questions, do please ask. I’ll be in touch again closer to your arrival date with my exact address and directions in any case. Until then,

All best wishes


Amis: Hi Diana, ya there will be 2 of us. Sorry if that’s misunderstanding.

I know many of you will be rolling your eyes at my easy acquiescence to the early check in request, but as it happens I had a longstanding arrangement that day and an early, get-it-over-with check in suited me down to the ground. I also - unusually for me - failed to get the name of the plus one.

Various logistical exchanges ensued, during which I gave out copious advice on getting from Heathrow to my place and confirmed the arrival time of 8 am. I also got a faintly enraging (because it woke me up!) 3.30 am message on the morning of arrival saying ‘see you soon’.

Well, you can imagine my surprise when my doorbell went at 6.30 am - SIX! THIRTY!! AM!!! - and I was confronted by someone called ‘Brigstocke’, who told me that Amis’s visa had been denied so it was just him, and he’d just taken the overnight bus from Cardiff (Cardiff!), and could he come in? I was discombobulated to put it mildly. I asked him why Amis had not let me know about the failed visa, particularly given that I’d been in contact with him regularly and only a few hours previously. He looked abashed but slightly hunted, and apologised. I expressed my dismay at the situation, and to give him his due I think he ‘got’ why a single woman (or let’s face it, anyone hosting in their own home!) might look askance at some Rando turning up on their doorstep in the small hours and expecting the hail fellow well met treatment. He said that he was studying in Cardiff, but was going home (to Southeast Asian country) for the holidays, and his mate Amis had been going to come over for a short holiday and to travel back with him. :thinking:Anyway - I gave him my best ‘more in sorrow than in anger’ lecture, showed him around, went back to bed where I had some epic anxiety dreams, got up again and left him to it while I went about my day.

I have to say that he was a delightful, unobtrusive and easy guest. I hardly saw him, but when I did, he was polite and friendly. He stayed with me for three nights, and nothing went ‘wrong’ after the strange and irritating start.

‘He’ has now left me a review. As I said way back when, the booking was made by ‘Amis’, and all the correspondence up to the guest’s arrival was between Amis and me. NOW, suddenly, the correspondence on the Airbnb page refers to ‘Brigstocke’, and it is Brigstocke I am being asked to review. However, all the emails and text alerts I received prior to the guest’s stay still refer to ‘Amis’, so I know I’m not dreaming. I have it there in black and white: it appears that guests are able to change names after (or during?) their stay.

How can this be right? Am I over-reacting? Has this ever happened to you?

I strongly feel that these kind of shenanigans should not be allowed. And how am I going to review him? What would you do?

1 Like

I was definitely aware of hosts that change their names … guests that’s a new one.

As to your problem, which sounds like the screenplay for “Inception,” I would suggest throwing this one to CSX, who will NOT know what to do or be helpful (unless you get Ireland … where they seem to try and try hard), but the free entertainment of whatever they come up with … will be worth it.


Ha ha to sounding like the Inception screenplay- I did try to keep it simple, but clearly failed!

I’m really concerned that guests can change their names during or after their stay. I strongly suspect that this guy was both ‘Amis’ and ‘Brigstocke’ - i.e. One bloke with two accounts - but who knows. It’s a weird situation, for sure.


Guests can change the name on their account at any time, just like they can change their photo. Hosts can change their name and photo at any time, too.

If you’re worried about it, I suppose you could require that guests show ID that matches the name and photo on the account.

Can they??? Well, you learn something new every day.

But this guy had different reviews and a different photo - tho they looked like mightily similar people (hard to say for sure, as both profiles used full body shots, so difficult to see the face in detail).

I still have QUALMS about the whole thing.

Hmmm, I was assuming only the name and photo changed, not the reviews. This seems more like a case where both guest accounts are on the reservation. I know it’s possible to add every guest with an Airbnb account in the same booking to the reservation but I have never had it happen.

1 Like

Well yes, that was my first thought - but this booking was officially only ever for ONE person, despite the original correspondence mentioning two guests. How could they do a switcheroo in that case?

So there is your review, in your own words…


1 Like

Glad to hear from you, Handful of Dust.

I have had several Asian guests with Anglicized nicknames, etc. I found it confusing but it ended well.

Maybe it’s a scam. Or maybe it was a way to get around your IB requirements. Maybe its a quirk.

Put it in the review.

Totally agree. From the UK, if I call CS around about 2 pm, I usually get put through to Ireland.

After 10 pm it’s usually Lisbon and they are super helpful too. If I have the opportunity, I try to find out where the person I’m speaking to is located.

1 Like

VERY valuable intel. Am translating this to East Coast USA for future reference.

1 Like

Thanks for this very useful info and to everyone else for their input.

I think I’m going to give this guy a nice public review (albeit with a neutral mention of the surprising 6.30 am check in), but mark him down on communication and give him a bollocking in the private feedback. I’ve put this episode down to youthful thoughtlessness rather than outright nefariousness.

However, I remain dismayed that it’s apparently fine by Airbnb for guests to change or swap their profiles mid- or post-stay, and might take it up with them.

If someone who never stepped for on your property leaves a review, that review violates Airbnb policy and can be taken down.

Be careful. There are many scammers who know how to game the Airbnb system. If something seems awry, call! Having your concerns on record will save you hassles later.

A guest can change their name on the same account. I dealt with that one today :slight_smile: However, one guest cannot have two accounts. Get ABNB safety on this one.

No longer true. As long as the cancellation takes place in check-in day reviews (even if obviously lies) are not only allowed but are asked for by Airbnb.