In my last post I mentioned a ‘Home Stay’ site that offered me 3 free nights accommodation in return for a mention on here, on my Gofundme page and within a Facebook group consisting of over 500 Games Makers who are all in need of accommodation during their time volunteering at the London 2012 Olympics.
I thought this was a great help but at appears that they are just another money grabbing organisation out to rip off volunteers during the games.
Let me explain.
I got my provisional dates that I would be required to volunteer during the games so I contacted Victoria Arnold, the owner of Home Stay Friend and told her I would like to book the dates with the host she had told me about, near where I am to be based and at a great price of £80/week.
She got back to me the next day saying this host is no longer available as they have a full time lodger. OK I thought so I browsed the site for alternatives. I found one, not ideally located but advertising a room for £120/week or £130/week during the Olympic game period. I thought my dates are before the games but even if charged the higher rate its not too drastic. I emailed the host about availability for July etc and she came back saying it would be £30/night, a 50% increase.
I emailed back giving my actual dates which are before the Games actually start and she replied that she knew the dates I wanted as Victoria Arnold had emailed them to her. I also got another email from Victoria that she had a spread sheet of properties she has in London and that she has advised them to charge about £30/night.
The property whom put their prices up has since updated her profile on Home Stay friends with the new price, but the property who has said they have a full time lodger and no longer looking to rent a room out is still advertising at £80/week, this is obviously to attract people to the site.
I accept these are peoples homes and they can charge what they like but I believe that here in the UK false advertising is illegal, if it’s not then it is definitely immoral.
So, I know many of my readers are from overseas, if you ever need accommodation when visiting London stay away from Home Stay Friends.