OK, I know I just wrote about my fake airbnb experience that I survived in college - but I am even more frightened NOW than I was then. Like as in . . . this is an emergency. This is the kind of shit I have nightmares about, butI haven't slept long enough lately to summon this scenario from my deepest, darkest parts of my brain.
I leave for Glasgow on Tuesday. We are renting an apartment there for a week and visiting Edinburgh for two nights in the middle of that week. This is my first experience with airbnb. I thought I would next type these annoying 'AIRBNB' initials when I returned and could describe our adventure. Oh, but how the airbnb nightmare has consumed me these last 24 hours, so I am sharing the latest frustrating details.
Back on December 27th, I reserved an apartment that is less than a mile from where Curly will dance in World Championships of Irish Dancing. Last night I finalized with my Dad, who is also traveling with us, which place we should rent for our brief stay in Edinburgh. I wast at my folks house. My ipad dropped the site claiming it had been rerouted too many times or some high tech bull crap that made no sense to me.
I really wanted to go to bed. I have a cold, of course. Since I am traveling soon. Duh. I came home from my folks' house and told Coach that I was going to bed in a few minutes. I just needed to book the Edinburgh apartment. I found the place we wanted to rent on my desktop. Hit 'book'. Thought it would be done. I was then prompted to share a photo of my drivers license. Front and back. It offered a few options. One of which was using the mobile app. That gave me the shivers. I don't really do apps - unless my kids are around to help me. They were all in bed.
After I uploaded the pictures (which took so long to upload from my phone via email that I probably could've re-taken the driver's test while I waited), I attached them to my account. THEN the computer asked me to share a picture of myself. Not just a cute picture from any old day. It demanded a photo from right now. I could select 'take the photo with my browser' or 'use the mobile app - recommended'. I again tried to steer clear of the app thing. Then I was alerted that my computer couldn't take my picture. The only remaining option was your-friend-and-certainly-not-mine . . . the mobile app.
I gave up and went to bed. I did send a quick email to the host of the apartment I was trying to rent asking for help. Like, 'listen I am not an ax murderer. I am traveling with my elderly father and two young daughters. Can you bypass this step for us?' That isn't word for word or anything. I fondly remembered booking our week long stay in Glasgow in a matter of minutes. Why the Hell was this booking so difficult?
I awoke a restful 4.5 hours later and had the bright idea that I would use my ipad to book the room. My ipad takes selfies. Not a practice I am accustomed to, but still. My ipad wanted me to install a different operating system to work the freaking mobile app. Bite me.
In the meantime, the host texted me to say she couldn't help. You know who else couldn't help? The most horrible website know to man. The airbnb site offered me a few pre-typed questions so that I could refer to the pre-typed responses. Where is the live chat? Where is the 'please email us here' link? What is this the 90's? . . . I don't even know how far back I would have to go to discover such a suckie website.
I turned to my trusty phone. It took some work, but I did get my ID photo uploaded and the most frightening photo of myself (it was like 4 in the morning peeps and I had barely slept) taken with my phone. I can no longer convince the host that I am not an ax murderer. Really. She should sleep with one eye open just knowing I am in town.
I thought I was done. I get several more messages alerting me that my ID pictures were too blurry. They needed to be redone. More joy. At last after I shared a few more ID pics, I got a confirmation.
I just tried to check my original airbnb account, because thanks to the mobile app and the picture debacle I have two accounts. I clicked on the 'trips' tab and I kid you not- I almost passed out. My original booking for a week in Glasgow supposedly doesn't exist. All the blood in my body rushed to my feet.
I summoned Coach, who loves it when I 'get like this'. He watched calmly (how does he do it?) as I found an email with a confirmation number. My pulse rate became a bit more normalized (really, after watching hundreds of episodes of ER over the years that's all I can come up with. Sorry to disappoint). Then I looked back at my credit card statement. I was charged for the week stay in Glasgow. So maybe I can survive this obvious suckie website issue.
I spent some time -that I really couldn't think of anything else to do with anyway- inspecting each of the canned responses to common questions that the website lamely offers. At long last after I got to the highest level of 'still haven't found your question' game that I find so fulfilling, I was granted access to a little box where I could type a message. I also emailed the host.
The website says they will get back to me in 24 hours. I just hope they don't ask me for a 'what-do-you-look-like-at-exactly-this-moment' picture.