Facebook | Ben Speller

Guy Traveling In Amsterdam Arrives At His Airbnb And Finds A Shipping Container

It's safe to say that Airbnb has changed the face of traveling. Where once you had to rely on hotel room availability when planning a trip, a whole new world of usually reasonably priced accommodations has opened up thanks to homeowners who want to make a few extra bucks on the side. It can be a pretty good arrangement under the right circumstances.

However, because we can't just have nice things, there are always some wrinkles that are going to pop up — like, in this case, some pretty clear fraud.

Ben Speller, a British soccer fan — okay, football fan — had a trip all planned to see his favorite team when they were playing abroad.

Facebook | Ben Speller

His beloved Tottenham Hotspurs were visiting Amsterdam, so he decided to head over to The Netherlands to see his team play.

Obviously, it would be an overnight stay, so Ben went looking for one of those reasonably priced Airbnbs.

He thought he had a decent place lined up.

Facebook | Ben Speller

The ad looked like just the sort of thing to get him through the night — a £100 (about $130 U.S.) per night "cottage" that might not be the most luxurious spot, but seemed to have the basics: a "Clean home in Amsterdam with private bathroom."

Boy, was Ben in for a surprise.

In Amsterdam, Ben thought he had the wrong address at first.

Facebook | Ben Speller

Instead of "clean home," he found a shipping container, and not the sort of fancy shipping container you see on Pinterest.

As 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."

Well, Ben did take a few photos for posterity.

Facebook | Ben Speller

Inside the shipping container were three small, sad-looking mattresses, with thin blankets on top — and very little else in the way of furnishings.

That private bathroom? Well, it technically existed.

Facebook | Ben Speller

I mean, a porta-potty is a private bathroom. But still, you can't blame Ben for not staying the night in a shipping container just randomly sitting on the street in a strange city.

He went to a hotel instead, forking over another £230 (about $300 U.S.) for the night.

Needless to say, Ben asked for a refund for the shipping container fee, as well as for the hotel he'd had to book last-minute.

The landlord for the listing, "Jacob," couldn't be found, but Airbnb did right by Ben, reimbursing him for his trouble.

A spokesperson for Airbnb said that "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."

As for the shipping container, it's gone too.

Unsplash | Prince Lemuel Davis

Locals had complained about the container just popping up in their neighborhood, and after city authorities looked into it, they found that no permit had been issued for it, so the city had it towed.

And the city hasn't had any more luck tracking down "Jacob" than Airbnb did.

"We wanted to find the owner to recover the towing costs from him, but that didn't work," said Jeroen van Berkel, the area's manager. "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."

h/t AT5

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