Amsterdam tourist unintentionally pays for shipping containers at Airbnb booking | world news

16-05-2019 10:05

A British tourist in Amsterdam was shocked when he arrived at his Airbnb accommodation and found that he had booked a stay in a roadside freight container.

London's Ben Speller paid £ 100 for a single night at the property, described in the Airbnb list as a "clean en suite room".

On his arrival, however, he discovered a freight container on the roadside near the Amsterdam Amstel station.

"We booked a hotel when we saw it," Mr. Speller wrote on Facebook.

"To be fair, I got my 100 pounds worth of comedy," he added.

The host had reportedly listed two shipping containers in different parts of Amsterdam
Image:
The host had reportedly listed two shipping containers in different parts of Amsterdam

In the apartment on the roadside Mr. Speller found a mattress and a blanket with a porch next to the "bedroom".

Speaking to Sun Online Travel, Mr. Speller said that the host, Jacob, had warned him shortly before his arrival that there was a problem with running water before he had the opportunity to cancel.

Mr. Speller said he had no alternative options and decided to stay with his original booking.

"When we arrived, we drove past the container three times in a taxi because we could not believe it could be," Mr. Speller told The Sun.

"I checked the listing again and he changed it to container home."

Mr. Speller said he had booked a hotel as soon as he saw the container
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Ben Speller said he booked a hotel as soon as he saw the container

Airbnb has since returned the £ 100 from the listing and another £ 230 for the hotel where Mr Speller has finally stayed.

The company has also removed the host's profile and entries, including a second container on the other side of the city.

In a statement, Airbnb said, "Misrepresentations or fraudulent listings have no place on our platform, and our team works hard to strengthen our defense and stay one step ahead of bad actors.

"Over half a billion people have traveled with Airbnb, and with over 2 million guests checking in to an Airbnb every night, such issues are incredibly rare."

At least one of the shipping containers was taken away after it was determined that it did not have a permit
Image:
At least one of the shipping containers was taken away after it was determined that it did not contain a permit

Jacob has not been tracked yet, but at least one of his shipping containers has been towed away.

According to the Dutch news channel AT5, the local authorities found that the container did not have a residence permit, which led to its final removal.

Such incidents of fraudulent Airbnb entries are not uncommon.

In an infamous case in 2016, a Londoner listed a "private room in a public place" that was a mattress, a rug, and a bedside table strategically placed outside some garages in Peckham.

Other strange cases are the numerous tents in the back gardens of the hosts, which were also rented in recent years.

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