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HomeUKFamily forced to receive tourists in living room after Booking.com error

Family forced to receive tourists in living room after Booking.com error


A family had to accommodate a group of tourists in their living room for a night after a tour company incorrectly listed their house on its website.

Around 20 holidaymakers from around the world have descended on Karin Arsenius’ house in Greenwich, south-east London, over the past month.

It came after Booking.com accidentally used the zip code for her street for bookings, with her home under a location pin on the online map.

Users then booked accommodation with the address of a flat in Greenwich, the BBC reported.

Ms Arsenius, 37, said in a “shocking” incident last Saturday that she had to make beds for three women from Argentina in her living room.

She told the BBC that her partner took them to a nearby pub to try and resolve the issue with the online accommodation site, but she had no luck.

“They had nowhere to go and we tried all the local hotels, but everything was booked.

“There was nothing for free, so in the end we said ‘we don’t feel comfortable just letting you go out at night, so let’s just make some beds in the living room and you can just stay here’.

“But it should never have come to this. It should have been taken care of even if Booking.com gets kicked out,” she said.

‘Truly horrible’

One of the group, Sabrina Salomé Schneider, 31, said it was a “nightmare” to get home to the family.

“The family tried to help us, but we are still waiting for money from Booking.com because we still have to spend money to find new accommodation.”

‘It’s a big company. They have to be able to afford to accommodate a few people.”

Lisa Webb, a consumer law expert for consumer group Which?, described it as “truly horrific” for all parties.

She said: “Booking.com needs to take every step it has in its arsenal to make sure that, firstly, when it happens, people are protected, people are compensated, but second, that this scam can’t run on their platform to appear. all the way in the first place.

(Scammers) will attack individuals in any way they can and there are very unscrupulous people who do this.

“However, there must be checks and balances in place to ensure that this cannot happen.”

In a statement, the company said: “We have some robust security measures in place, but in the very rare event that there is an issue with a specific property, we always immediately investigate.

“We can confirm that this property has been completely removed from our site and all affected customers have been contacted by a member of our customer service team to apologize and provide all necessary support in relation to refunds, relocations and additional charges, and we are of course extending our sincere apologies to the homeowner.”

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