Tourists turn up at Plumstead family home after blunder

Karin Arsenius (Supplied)
Karin Arsenius (Supplied)

A south London mother has spoken of her frustration over tourists continually turning up at her door after her home was incorrectly listed as a destination.

Karin Arsenius, 37, who lives in Plumstead with her two children and partner, is considering legal action against the website, saying travellers keep turning up at her family home expecting to stay the night.

She revealed that in the past month 20 visitors from all over the world have knocked on her door expecting to stay because the pin for her postcode erroneously lies directly on her house.

The mother told the Standard she had no desire to become a host and has had to turn away desperate people who have flown to the capital from as far as Argentina, Canada, India and the US.

She said: “The tourists have handled it quite well to be fair. But there’s not much they can do apart from talking to and hoping they will sort it out for them.

“But this has been the most frustrating part for them all.”

She added: “All the neighbours have been amazing really. Especially one of them who stayed with an Indian family for 7 hours helping them phone”

In the latest incident, three Argentinian women knocked on her door and an exasperated Karin gave in and allowed them to stay the night.

“They had nowhere to go and we tried all the the local hotels but everything was booked out,” she told the BBC.

“There was nothing free so in the end we said ‘we’re not comfortable with just letting you go out in the night so let’s just make up some beds in the living room and you can just stay here’.

“But it shouldn’t ever have got that far. It should have been taken care of, even if is put out.”

A spokeswoman said the property had been removed from the site and the company had been in touch to offer refunds to those affected.

She said: “We take safety and security very seriously, and every week, we facilitate millions of stays with the vast majority taking place with absolutely no problems.

“Scams are unfortunately a battle many industries are facing against unscrupulous fraudsters looking to take advantage and it is something we are tackling head on. We have a number of robust security measures in place, but in the very rare instance there may be an issue with a specific property we always investigate immediately.

“We can confirm this property has been completely removed from our site and all customers affected were contacted by a member of our customer service team to apologise and offer any support required in relation to refunds, relocations and additional fees, and we of course extend our sincere apologies to the homeowner.”

Responding to the apology Ms Arsenius said: “We will just have to wait and see if this is the end of it all.

“Hopefully no one else has made a booking.”

It came the year after a woman called Gillian said she felt “victimised” after her private address in north London was also placed on

She told BBC Radio 4: “Someone knocked on my door. I opened it and it was this poor, very tired woman, presumably from Hong Kong, her daughter at the end of the gate, with hundreds of cases, it seemed to me, obviously [they had] just come from the airport.

“They said they’d booked my house with

“I said, ‘No you haven’t, because it’s not on’. I’ve never let this house.

“She looked aghast and I said, ‘You’ll just have to go back to them. I’m sorry, there’s some misunderstanding’.

She added: “They came from all over the world: Australians who’d just arrived, there were some people from Saudi Arabia, some people from the north of England, and I just couldn’t believe it.”