Few people need to be reminded that safety of people and property is of prime concern when traveling in a foreign country. This was very evidently made clear to me on a recent trip to Cannes along with two of my other associates. What should have ordinarily been a memorable holiday trip turned out to be a rather learning experience, so to speak.
What happened at Cannes
I had made arrangements on AirBnB for an apartment rental on a visit to Cannes along with couple of my other friends. The host assigned to us Steeve Monterin allowed us use of his facility and we did stick to the general schedule as laid out in the rental agreement. Most parts of the day time during our visit would be spend taking in the sights and sounds of the location.
On our return from such an outing, it was noticed that some of our personal possessions were missing from their prior places. A good search did not yield any result and we then proceeded to make the loss known to Steeve Monterin. He did not believe that a break in had happened and this was very evident from the lack of any external signs that could have pointed to one.
But strangely, Steeve was adamant that we do not file a complaint with the local police and instead suggesting that we take recourse to the review facility being on offer on AirBnB. We did in right earnest narrative our experience on the site and surprisingly the post was deleted by the administrators. We were further informed that we have violated the terms that regulated the posting of opinions of stay and use of facilities of the site.
What happened further
Despite our best efforts to find redressal to the situation, AirBnB stuck to their stand. On further escalating the complaint, it was soon evident that Steeve Monterin had made a case against by using doctored images and videos. Further research revealed that this individual had on earlier occasions too made use of doctored images to wriggle out of rather nasty situations. Thus it was a well established habit that he had formed of making a quick buck.
A good advice to travelers across the world
- Despite the good intentions of sites like AirBnB, there would always be folks that get to beat the system. Be prepared for this eventuality.
- Do proper independent research at most times, it would prove to be more useful than to blindly follow the rating systems on most sites.
- Take note of the smallest of issues as often people like Steeve Monterin have a habit of cleaning up behind the activities and any leftover material could be a good telltale sign of ill intentions.
- It would be worthwhile to have a proper investigation done by the local police force even if there are facilities on hand to lodge a complaint, as was the case with AirBnB in our case.