Guy Arrives In Amsterdam To Discover His Airbnb Is A Shipping Container
Published in May 2019 / Updated in Aug 2021
Airbnb can be an excellent way to explore new cities during your vacation while giving you a great place to spend your night at a reasonable price. But sometimes what you pay for through an accommodation advert isn’t what it seems.
A British Tottenham Hotspur fan was shocked to discover his £100 a night ‘cottage’ in Amsterdam is a shipping container.
The football fan, Ben Speller, arrived in Amsterdam ahead of Tottenham Hotspur against the Ajax match.
Hoping to find a cheap and cheerful place to stay for the night, Speller came across a listing of ‘clean home in Amsterdam with a private bathroom’ for only £100.
When Speller arrived at the so-called “clean home in Amsterdam with private bathroom” cottage, he was astonished to find his Airbnb was a greyish shipping container with three mattresses and a portable toilet inside.
The container, located in Pauwenpad, near the Prins Bernhardplein, wasn’t what he was promised nor what he expected.
He told Dutch news site AT5:
“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.”
Speller requested the Airbnb owner for a refund. The demand was denied, leading to Airbnb paying for the hotel booking of £230 and the return of £100.
Speller also shared the image of the shipping container ‘cottage’ with his fellow Spurs fans on Facebook.
AT5 reported that the container had no permit to operate. After visiting the area, the shipping container had been towed away by a city contractor.
The so-called cottage was removed from the site once Speller raised the complaint.
The spokesperson of Airbnb said:
“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 dubious advert, hosted by ‘Jacob,’ has since been removed from the site.
Later, it was discovered the shipping container had no permit to be placed at that location. The owner has been reported untraceable.
District Manager, Jeroen van Berkel, told AT5 news site:
“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.”