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Booking.com rip-off: Tourists descend on north London personal home

Booking.com WebpageBooking.com

A girl in north London says she feels victimised after dozens of vacationers turned up at her home when her personal tackle was positioned on the Booking.com lodging web site.

Travellers from Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia and Los Angeles turned up on the home of Gillian, whose full identify is just not being given, all through July.

She needed to flip them away and advised Booking.com it was a rip-off.

The agency mentioned her home had now been “completely removed” from its web site.

Gillian advised BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours programme that on 4 July she was stunned by sudden guests to her home.

“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.

‘Looked aghast’

“They mentioned they’d booked my home with Booking.com.

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

“She seemed aghast and I mentioned, ‘You’ll simply have to return to them. I’m sorry, there’s some misunderstanding’.

“A few hours later I had about three or four people visiting knocking on my door saying they’d booked my house with Booking.com.

“They got here from all around the world: Australians who’d simply arrived, there have been some folks from Saudi Arabia, some folks from the north of England, and I simply could not consider it.”

The pair from Hong Kong were the first of about 100 people who thought they had reserved Gillian’s property through the booking website, arriving there between 4 and 29 July.

On 5 July, Gillian reported to Booking.com that droves of people were coming to her house and the listing was eventually pulled six days later.

But Gillian said she had 23 groups of people turn up at her house throughout the month.

‘Feel very weak’

“It was clearly a rip-off, and somebody had used my tackle. I felt so sorry for these vacationers knocking on my door. All I might do was ship them away.

“I feel very worried about it. They’re very nice people, but perhaps one day we might get some people knocking on the door who actually are quite aggressive. I feel very vulnerable.”

Lady Gaga

Getty Images

Gillian discovered the itemizing for her tackle on the web site however the photos had been from a completely completely different property, in Chelsea, and had been unlawfully copied from a authentic lodging web site.

Jo Duckenfield and her daughter, Olivia, had been two of the vacationers who turned up at Gillian’s home to remain on a weekend away from their home in Portsmouth.

They had booked on 13 July and had been planning to attend the Lady Gaga live performance at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

“I started looking around for somewhere to stay [and] found this flat on Booking.com,” Ms Duckenfield mentioned.

‘Unscrupulous fraudsters’

She mentioned she had queried the standing of the property on the morning of arrival with Booking.com, and had been assured it might be effective.

Ms Duckenfield mentioned: “I won’t use them again, ever.”

London Skyline

A spokesperson for Booking.com mentioned: “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 sadly a battle many industries are dealing with in opposition to unscrupulous fraudsters trying to take benefit and it’s one thing we’re tackling head on.

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

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