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Worst Experience With AirBnb Host (Stockholm, Sweden)


#1

Hi,
I’ve been to Stockholm twice. I have met lot of Swedish people and they are nice. But at this time I would like to share to you my experience. I am frequent airbnb user and used that web to book my accomodation during my last vacation trip to Europe. I tried to book different place with different owner at two times my visits to Stockholm.

The first one, I highly recommend, in Ropsten area. The host was friendly and communicative. He was also helpful and sent me a clear direction as he knew that I did not buy any Swedish mobile phone number, I was just a tourist that had first experience in Sweden!

The second one was a nightmare (Listing 2337965), address Kammakargatan 33. This flat is run by a couple, husband and wife. At very first time I asked them that had I to call them because I did not plan to buy mobile phone number during my stay, they answered that I could go directly to their flat because they were at home, I did not have to call. Then after getting my luggage at Arlanda, I went to their flat by using Flygbussarna bus + Metro/Subway. I thought they would have been waiting for me so if I press their doorbell, someone would come up to open the door.

For my surprise, the doorbell outside of the main gate did not work! I kept knocking on the main door but no one arrived. With that desperation, I went to nearby barbershop and borrowed citizen’s mobile phone to call the host. Then they gave me a unlocking code to be entered on the door’s lock (on the phone of course). I thought it was their responsibility to explain or give the code to their guest and I think it was not my fault because I have told them repeatedly that I did not have mobile phone number to call the host. Finally I could enter after staying outside of building for 30 minutes and they did not apologize at all. Because I was on holiday, I did not want something like this to ruin my mood.

After they showed me the room, husband delivered me a house rules and I noticed something strange on the rules. It is written, “Please don’t use our towels, use yours (provided).” In my logic, no one in common sense would like to use others’ towels. It is like you ask people not to wear your underwear, really. And I smelled something bit strange in the room but for me that was fine as I only stayed for 1 night.

Furthermore, I was reminded repeatedly not to have p*ss on the toilet with bathroom, but to other super small toilet. Bathroom is shared and only for taking bath.

The nightmare story not ended there, in the night I could not sleep at all because there were young people one level above their flat had party until dawn, but I told the host in the morning directly.

After returning from holiday, 4 days after I checked out from their flat and I have written good review to them (because I never want to ruin people business by giving them a bad review), they accuse me to “use perfume with strong smell.” I rarely use perfume even the soft one in any occasions and the smell may have been there when I checked in. They wrote that on my review page and hope all future hosts will notice me for the smell because they have to buy a new bed to replace the bed I slept on. That was very annoying, I’ve been accused for something I did not do.

I have asked the help from airbnb and they so far have not provided me a better approach to solve this matter. There’s nothing I can do except just to let readers know that if you use airbnb and go to Stockholm, just try to avoid this annoying host.

Lesson learnt: what seems beautiful in picture, not really it is at reality. If you ask me if the pictures are so beautiful, yes they are also the reality. The room is big, spacious, bright, looks like 4-5 stars hotel. Very nice area. Worth if you compare with hotel’s price, but a bit expensive if you compare to any other flats. But don’t judge the book by its cover, really. I believe there are lot of nice hosts out there as I never had such problem with my hosts during my experiences in airbnb, but sometimes good review on profile page does not enough to give you a good picture about your host.

This host, they wait until you go out from their flat and write down about their beautiful place then they will write something bad to you. If they told me or accused me something while I was staying at their flat, I might have written something bad on their profile - which is most hosts are afraid of.

I do love Sweden and Stockholm, Stockholm was one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever visited in my life. I do recommend to my friends, colleagues, families to visit Stockholm. But my superb experience in Stockholm was ruined by this host experience.


#2

This does sound like a bad experience for you. They hosts should have forwarded the entry number to you. Are you positive it wasn’t in the email itinerary you got with your booking? It should be under ‘house manual’. Make sure to check this in future. It is up to the guest to make sure they have read the information they have been sent, and not act as if it is up to hosts to babysit them through their travels. You almost make it sound as if it was up to the hosts to do something extra for you, just because you decided not to get a phone card for your phone while overseas. While they can send the details again, it can get annoying having to resend information that has already been sent, and that they expect you have read.

I am very sensitive to people’s shampoos and conditioners, and whatever body products regular people use, because we have used products without any fragrance (except essential oils) for many years. So what smells like regular products to everyone else (I guess) really smells unpleasantly strong to my husband and I, to the point we that we have to open up all the windows and air out the house after a guest that uses these products has stayed. I just mean things like you might buy at the pharmacy or supermarket. It’s possible they felt the same way. It was still rude of them to remark on it, if as you say you didn’t spray anything in the room or use anything too strong.

It’s always nice if you can be warned that there might be a party going on, but of course your hosts would not have had prior warning that their neighbors would have decided to party that night, it may have just been a one off. Although if it had happened in our airbnb, I would have been extremely apologetic.

The bathroom situation I guess is just one of those things that you just need to respect the rules in other people’s homes. When a guest in someone else’s house, you don’t always get to use it as you’d prefer to, but as they would like you to. This is how the system works, and what being a guest in a home means. I’m quite sure they had good reason for keeping the toilet the toilet and the bathroom the bathroom. Rules are usually created in Airbnb homes out of experiences that have led to their creation - such as someone spending too much time on the toilet in the bathroom, when people need to use the bathroom, while the toilet sits vacant.

It is a pity you ended up with a bad review, but hopefully if you choose to use airbnb again, you will have a chance to get better reviews by learning from the experience and how to be a considerate guest.

I hope you find this as helpful as it is meant to be.


#3

Hi Sandy,

Thank you for giving me a feedback. Responding to your post above (without reducing my main point that I was accused to use strong smell perfume):

  1. There was no house manual. I booked 4 other rooms with airbnb at the same time, sometimes the manual book was provided by host, but sometimes not. A host put detail direction to his house while I was in Copenhagen, so there was no manual book to be downloaded. But some hosts sent me a pdf file including wifi password and unlocking code and how to use washing machine, etc. But I need to highlight, this host didn’t provide any manual book to me. They said they would be at home at the time I arrived, no need to call etc and I made myself sure that there was no house manual sent to me.

  2. Regarding to call, I told them I didn’t buy Swedish mobile phone number (I only stayed for 1 night in Stockholm) and it was very expensive to activate roaming with my mobile phone number - I didn’t think it was worth. That was the end of my trip to Europe, I survived my whole trip without mobile phone number, only depended on wifi - and most of my past airbnb host didn’t have concerns about this, everything was fine.
    What I expect is, if the host expected me to call her, I would do. I even sent them a message while I picked up my luggage at Arlanda and during my way from Arlanda to their home by using Flygbussarna bus, there was a free wifi that I can use. But again, host told me it was no necessary to call, just go to their address. I don’t understand why you blame me for acting like asking host to babysit me. The host message was clear, “No need to call. Just go. I and my husband will be at home and welcome you.” I knew their address, I had my time estimation while departing from airport to their home, the direction was very clear. The last time I stopped at Flygbussarna station, I again sent them a message said I would be there in 15-20 minutes - there was no response, no information about main entrance so how was I supposed to know is there any unlocking keys number?
    Finally when I entered to their house, host’s husband told me thay he FORGOT to send me information regarding main entrance unlocking key. So, what I expect to them to do extra efforts? I don’t know what you think… but for me, it’s host’s responsibility to provide clear information to guest - including the unlocking key if host expected me to enter by myself. (In the end, during a conversation with Airbnb team, host admitted that it was her fault not to provide me unlocking keys)

  3. For party people, I didn’t blame this 100% to the host, it was something unexpected I believe. But this is just for a comparison that I told the host privately while I was on their flat, instead of accusing and moaning later and write on the public review. What I expected from host, if there’s something they didn’t like, they could tell me so I could apologize and seek for alternatives which we could together avoid.
    In this case, if the host told me about smell, I could let the host in, check everything that I brought either it was a soap, talc, shampoo etc. And of course I would not ever use it again if it’s sensitive to the host or her family.

  4. Bathroom is not really a problem for me, really. But how the host treat me as the guest it is just showing that she didn’t like me. But for what? It could be something racism, it could be my appearance, my luggage, my behavior, or what… I have no idea. And what I really didn’t like is the host reminded me repeatedly about the towel, I also never want to share towels even with my family and for me it’s just make everything clear that the host didn’t like me or even worse she hated me.

Sandy, I really appreciate your comment here and I absolutely am going to make this experience as my evaluation for my next trip if use airbnb again. I was trying to be a respectful guest but in the end I understand that some people may be sensitive with this and that and some may not.

Update for this story, bad review from host to me was eventually deleted by airbnb - I appreciate airbnb team’s effort.
And I was awarded 25$ voucher in the end of this case… Thanks airbnb for taking care of this case.
For me, this case has been solved and I intend to remove this post but considering I’ve just been remembered by Sandy’s post, I will let it for few days again.


#4

Hi Elreal,

I’m sorry. We’ve had so many guests. I was answering your question as a host, because so many guests just have no idea how their behavior can effect a host while they are in their home.

So many times guests really don’t bother to check the address of a home, and then ask the host to send it again to them when they are on the way. All the extra time spent communicating with a guest before arrival can take up a lot of effort, and can be especially annoying for things that are clearly written in the description or information sent with booking. It really does seem like your host made a mistake, but it is surprising they didn’t apologize.

It’s quite possible they were having a bad day or sometimes it is true, people just don’t hit it off as well as you’d hope on airbnb. They do sound unpleasant, but I have to disagree that the bathroom rules were to make you feel bad, or because they disliked you. Rather the towel thing must have been because a former guest (perhaps the last one they had) used their towels. This probably upset them greatly, so that they now feel they have to tell everyone, because people from other countries use other people’s towels, or something like that. I can’t believe it was personal.

I think you might have gone wrong in mentioning your displeasure about the party to your hosts. By telling them you were unhappy in your stay, it made them feel you didn’t appreciate their hospitality. From their side, they probably thought they had provided a beautiful clean room at a great price, and that you should have said been grateful - especially as they can’t control their neighbors. It is likely a cultural thing, that mentioning complaints in certain countries may be very upsetting.

Either way, it was very unprofessional of them to mention the smell, especially if you just used what you consider normal amounts. You would be surprised how many people really find the smell hard to tolerate though! It’s similar to people that don’t eat a lot of sweets tasting candy for the first time in ages - it tastes terrible. Too sweet. These fragrances can be overpowering for those that don’t use them, because they are chemically based. But we don’t expect everyone to be the same as us, so we just race in and try to get the smell out and don’t make a fuss. Your hosts could have easily done the same.

Think of it this way, if that’s all they could find to complain about, you must have been a very good guest!


#5

Hi Sandy,

I understand as a host you sometimes find it’s very annoying to repeat the same answers with the same questions or it’s something written on your profile/manual book. I myself hate to be asked something like that so I was trying to be in host’s position, no questions sent before reading the description carefully.

I have to admit that this host has a very beautiful flat with luxury interior and judging by it looks, it is even better than hotel. That’s my appraisal. I don’t want to be like when I had a problem with someone then it would effect my honest appraisal to her/him. For party people, I told them because the host asked me in the morning, “How was your sleep last night?” I replied them with honest answer that I couldn’t really sleep last night because there was a party by probably young people up there. It was not my intention to make host felt bad or felt I didn’t appreciate their hospitality. And for bathroom, maybe you’re right. Someone has ever used her towel so she felt it’s better to remind guest over and over again to prevent the same things occured again - thanks… I never thought about this before because I think there’s no one would like to share towel with others.

I never think that I have been a good or perfect guest, but I always try to be as good as I can.
With your opinion and suggestion here, I believe I get another thought to think about… Probably I was not good enough to be perfect guest like this host expected, but thanks Sandy… I will try to be better next time.


#6

It already sounds like you were being an excellent guest Elreal. If all they could pick on was your fragrances, like I said, you mustn’t have done anything wrong, and that’s awfully bad natured of them to mention this. As far as them needing to buy a new bed, if this was really true, they most likely would have opened a case with airbnb to get this covered. While I agree that some fragrances do stick around for a long time in bedding etc, it’s usually nothing that a good airing out won’t take care of. It’s a good idea to use mattress protectors I find!

It may be hard to believe some of the things guests will do in a home, but I have come across some absolutely disgusting stuff, done by people that seemed like they should have known better. It’s a pity that just because someone used their towels, they feel like others might do the same. I’m afraid it’s the ‘once bitten, twice shy’ thing. I can’t imagine someone doing this with my towels. In fact, I can’t imagine sharing a bathroom with guests!

Im glad the nasty review was removed. I’m sure you didn’t mean to be unkind with your remarks about the party. It’s more odd that they asked if you’d had a good sleep and tried to pretend there wasn’t a party going on. They sound very odd, that’s for sure. If it was me, I would have apologized about the noise, even though it wasn’t my fault.


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