Technology

Airbnb duped into listing a dollhouse by YouTube pranksters

Christian Fleetwood

Christian Fleetwood

A pair of YouTubers based in the United Kingdom have successfully listed a dollhouse as a legitimate dwelling on short-term rental platform Airbnb.

The prank was shared on the popular YouTube page of Josh Pieters and Archie Manners, a pair known for pranking celebrities on their channel, which has at least 1.46 million subscribers.

In the video, Pieters and Manners set out to test Airbnb’s vetting protocol by seeing if the multinational platform will allow them to list a dollhouse. And, surprisingly, it did.

They photographed the interior of a Georgian-era dollhouse, uploaded the pics to the website and claimed it was a townhouse – all while intentionally hinting that it’s a dollhouse in their photos.

One image contains a water bottle. In another, the heads of both Pieters and Manners are reflected in a mirror, while a few other images even include life-size credit cards.

 

 

However, despite this and a host of other red flags, Airbnb accepted the listing and began allowing bookings on it. With the listing priced at £87 ($156) a night, roughly £3,000 (nearly $5,377) worth of reservations were made, according to the YouTube pranksters.

After the reservations were made and the pair had tested whether anyone would actually turn up to the dollhouse, listed in Clapham, London, Pieters and Manners said they returned the deposits.

Pieters said they wanted to see how robust Airbnb’s scam checking processes were.

“You can rent almost any kind of accommodation on Airbnb, but just how carefully do Airbnb check their listings?” he said in the video.

The prank raises questions over how easily scams can be orchestrated on Airbnb.

Travel Weekly has contacted Airbnb for comment.


Featured image source: YouTube/Josh Pieters & Archie Manners



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