Airbnb Host Shares Awful Guest Experience, Calls Out The Company
By Rachel George
An Airbnb host called out the company once again via Twitter after a guest allegedly harassed and stole money from her.
Alavia Khawaja tweeted about her unpleasant experience with Airbnb and a man she rented to earlier this month.
Through Airbnb, she rented a room in her apartment to a man, whom she says ended up harassing her, stealing her money, picking her bedroom door lock and putting her life in danger. Just after kicking him out, she said she reported the incident to local police and Airbnb, which led to the man’s arrest.
Khawaja also goes on to talk about how Airbnb failed to handle the situation in a timely fashion. “All I want is for Airbnb to do better,” she wrote. The man was apparently arrested for trespassing after coming back to the property. According to her, he was released and began contacting her the next day through text and on Airbnb.
The story doesn’t end there. Initially, Khawaja said police told her they couldn’t arrest him for stealing unless he admitted it, which she attempted to gain through keeping communication with him. She even released a photo of the renter and their text messages. Though the incident happened almost two weeks ago, Khawaja claims Airbnb has done nothing but delete his profile.
Just one hour ago after the post went up, Airbnb responded, “Hi Alavia, we’d like to look into this urgently. Will you please send us a DM with the full name, email address, and phone number as it appears on your account? We’ll be standing by.”
The thread led other Twitter users to join in on the rant, facing some sympathy and some criticism. Several twitters users focused on the abnormalities in her story and the text conversation she shared.
Some questioned her attempt at getting him to confess and their communication, before and after he was arrested. Based on the language of the conversation, some believe that their relationship is more than just tenant and host. Khawaja asserts she does not know him outside of the initial Airbnb conversation. “I just want to make it clear that I don’t know that man at all. The only reason I was texting him was to get him to confess he stole money from me. 500 something isn’t just 20 dollars,” she tweeted.
The ordering of the messages was called out, hinting some text may have been erased. Khawaja said she did not post the entire text thread but authorities all of the messages.
In the midst of explaining her story, another woman cosigned her saying she had a similar “wild” encounter with the man.
Alavia Khawaja is currently safe and was unharmed.
Travel Noire reached out to Airbnb and the company responded with this statement:
“This reported behavior is abhorrent and unacceptable and has no place on Airbnb. We have removed this guest from our platform and are in contact with local law enforcement to offer our assistance. Our initial response to this incident was simply too slow and we are working to fully support our host. There have been over 400 million guest arrivals to date and negative incidents are extremely rare,” per Ben Breit, Public Affairs.
Read the entire thread here.