Airbnb can be a great way to explore new cities, while giving you a good base for a decent price. However, sometimes they are not exactly what you expect.
Ben Speller had traveled to Amsterdam for the Spurs vs Ajax match, and needed a place to rest his head for the night. He came across what appeared to be a great listing, a ‘clean home in Amsterdam with a private bathroom’ for one hundred quid.
However, when Ben arrived in the Dutch city, the Airbnb was not at all what he ad anticipated. Far from the ‘clean home’ he had been promised, Ben was greeted by the sight of a dismal shipping container by the side of the road.
The dingy container, located in Pauwenpad, near the Prins Bernhardplein, contained three mattresses and a portable loo not at all what Ben had been promised.
Speaking with Dutch news site AT5, Ben said:
We had already driven around three times by taxi, we thought, “This can’t be it!” ‘But when we got out it turned out that it was true. We opened the door and looked inside, locked the door and left. Then we took a hotel.
Ben asked the owner for a refund, however his request was denied. Airbnb have since refunded the £100 as well as the £230 for the hotel booking.
Luckily Ben has seen the funny side, sharing pictures of the ‘so-called cottage on Facebook with his fellow Spurs fans.
A spokesperson for Airbnb has made the following statement:
We have removed the host and listings from our platform.
Misrepresented or fraudulent listings have no place on our platform, and our team works hard to constantly strengthen our defenses and stay ahead of bad actors.
The seriously dubious advertisement – posted by a landlord by the name of ‘Jacob’ – has since been towed away from the site.
After local residents complained, it turned out no permit had been issued for the shipping container to be placed in that location. The owner of the container has reportedly proven untraceable.
District manager, Jeroen van Berkel, told AT5:
We wanted to find the owner to recover the towing costs from him, but that didn’t work,
The Searchlight team (a team that the municipality uses to track down illegal holiday rentals) also visited a few times, but without results. Then we decided to remove the container.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.