'Bible study group' guests from hell

Author
NZ Herald,
Section
Travel,
Publish Date
Thursday, 9 August 2018, 2:45p.m.
Study group: Mary counted at least 25 people turned up to her boyfriends' airbnb. Photo / Supplied
Study group: Mary counted at least 25 people turned up to her boyfriends' airbnb. Photo / Supplied

Ben Newman thought he was being a good Samaritan to let out his three bedroom house on AirBnB to a bible study group – but he hadn't expected that 25 people would show up.

The ensuing dispute took on biblical proportions with Ben's girlfriend, Mary Numair, live-tweeting the entire episode.

It all began when Mary tweeted "OMG you guys. My boyfriend has been renting his house on Airbnb and has a group of 4 people this weekend. Except 25 people showed up. Twenty f***ing five."

She explained that the couple had installed CCTV at the property entrance, which showed a huge group of people arriving. Certainly not the group of four that had originally booked the property.

"When they showed up, his nest camera alerted they were there. He checked and holy sh*t just a sea of people.

"So he calls the guy and is like 'hey man, not to be rude but that looks like a lot more than four. My house can't accommodate large events.' The guy is like "oh gosh, I'm so sorry. We're doing a quick bible study and then they're leaving."

"Begrudgingly" the couple let the group continue their bible study class in the letting, but then his CCTV showed even more people were arriving.

"Finally he calls @Airbnb and they're like "are you sure you can't accommodate them?" Literal dozens of people on a small rural septic system, nah."

AirBnB phoned Ben back claiming the 'bible group' claimed they had been given a 'verbal agreement' to let the 25 stay.

Mary took to twitter again, writing: "So! @airbnb calls back the guy, calls my boyfriend back and says 'the guy says you had a verbal agreement to let 25 or so people stay.' What the f**k. It's a 3 bedroom house. No. F**k no."

When AirBnB finally told the guests to leave, it had little effect.

"Oh also, the guy said 'we're just a large Christian bible study group. What does it matter if it's more than 4' Like what the f**k does loving Jesus mean you get away with this sh*t," wrote Mary.

It was getting late. Finally losing patience with the group, Ben and Mary drove to the property to confront the guests.

There they were, still encamped in the building.

AiBnB messaged the couple to see what compromise could be made. The company wrote: "I know the guests really violated the rules for having additional guests on the listing but I'm sure it's not that easy for the guest to leave the listing.

"I would like to ask what are the possible options we can give to guest as a courtesy … it's late at night, 11.22pm."

Needless to say, Ben and Mary weren't feeling very courteous to their surprise party of guests.

Finally ushering the party out of the property, Mary had a final rude surprise:

The guests were gone, but they had taken the expensive toiletries with them.

"Oh and they stole all the shampoo and conditioner. And the body wash. All three were the big sizes of EO. That's like 60 bucks," she vented on Twitter.

After the property was finally emptied AirBnB attempted to patch up the issue and compensate the couple who had hosted the rowdy bible group.

Mary had been in touch with the lettings website with the evidence "we had video proof they were wilfully breaking a major house rule and repeatedly 756.77 lying about it."
The pair were eventually compensated NZ$760 for the letting fee, and NZ$120 for the stolen shampoo.

Replying to Mary's twitter account, the company wrote: "As we discussed on the phone if there are any other damages as a result of this incident please document the damage with photos and let me know, so we can assist you as soon as possible."

AirBnB made the following statement, in response to Ben and Mary's ordeal: "We have fully supported our host and followed up with our guest regarding this incident. The overwhelming majority of Airbnb guests are respectful travellers, but when issues happen, we work to make things right."

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