Angry AirBnB Host Exposes Guest’s Affair As Revenge For Bad Review

We’ve long been on the lookout for some of the travel industry’s bests and worsts. Take this business class layout with “coffin seats” or this first-class meal choice as prime examples. This, however, may just be the worst travel story we’ve ever heard for every unfortunate soul involved…

An Airbnb host in Memphis, Tennessee, is in the midst of a legal battle after being accused of attempting to extort a guest by sharing security footage of him with another woman as retaliation for a bad review. The guest, Shawn Mackey, rented a house advertised as ‘A Little Bit More Country‘ for a weekend reunion with friends in the fall of 2022. The property, which Mackey found on Airbnb, was rented for US$567 per night.

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The conflict began when Mackey was charged an additional US$960 fee after the host, Pamela Fohler, claimed he had broken the agreed-upon house rules by inviting additional guests into the property. Fohler, a ‘superhost’ on Airbnb, had stipulated that guests must register all visitors, whether they stayed overnight or simply dropped in for a flying visit. Mackey had agreed to this but then revealed that get might have a few more dinner guests than initially planned…

Fohler’s limited the number of guests to eight, citing city restrictions and the pre-existing capacity of her property. She also informed Mackey that there would be a cost for each additional guest, even those not staying overnight. After further complaints were lodged about disturbances and unauthorized guests, Fohler promptly asked Mackey to leave the property.

Mackey, in his lawsuit filed in a Mississippi District Court, claims that he stuck to the rules and that the accusations of partying and unwarranted disturbances were false. Naturally, he then left a negative review on Airbnb and requested a partial refund, which swiftly was denied. Following the review, Fohler allegedly began harassing Mackey, worried about her status as a so-called superhost. Airbnb temporarily suspended Mackey’s account and threatened permanent termination.

Image: Southern District Of Mississippi

This is when the situation took a darker turn: Fohler allegedly sent Mackey a text message with photos of him and another woman, taken from the property’s security cameras. She even threatened to post the images on YouTube and later emailed the picture to Mackey’s wife with a highly suggestive subject line.

Mackey’s lawsuit claims that Fohler’s actions have caused him extreme emotional distress, public humiliation, and damage to his marriage. He is suing for damages on three counts: economic, martial, and emotional, pinning the latter on the invasion of his right to privacy. Fohler has denied sending the email and claims she has never corresponded directly with Mackey’s wife.

The case is ongoing, with Fohler filing a motion to dismiss and Airbnb filing one to compel the parties to undergo arbitration. Mackey faces a February 21 deadline to respond. Who do you think is in the wrong here? Is this is a case of an AirBnB host being overbearing? Or has the man in question simply been caught in the act, with all this fallout being little more than just desserts?

Let us know what you think.

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