Airbnb owner accused of threatening customer over negative review


The owner of a Victorian Airbnb property that has been ranked as the best vacation home in the country has been accused of using a cart to harass and threaten a Melbourne-based sales manager who left a negative review of the business luxury accommodation on a travel website.

David Penman, 53, who operates Clifftop in Hepburn in the spa country of Victoria, was due to appear in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court this week, after allegedly sending a series of threatening messages to Matthew Taylor in June of the year last.

David Penman, Accommodation Operator at Hepburn Springs.Credit:Simon schluter

Mr Taylor, who sells software to the construction industry, had booked a four-night stay at Clifftop in Hepburn which, according to his Airbnb page, has won numerous travel, hospitality and architecture awards and which costs $ 563 a night.

However, in a review on Tripadvisor, Mr Taylor claimed his reservation was abruptly canceled following a minor dispute over the price of a second room.

“I said no problem, we were asking just because we thought we would bring our parents, but it may be beneficial to remove the information to the contrary on the website and I sent the link for their convenience.

“Here is the kicker, not only did this aggressive man refuse to admit his mistake and honor the offer, not only he said no, he canceled our reservation without notice or conversation. I also have the exchange of emails to back it up, ”he posted.

Mr. Taylor, who declined to comment when contacted by Age, gave the vacation rental company a possible one out of five star rating.

The criticisms allegedly sparked a series of allegedly abusive and threatening messages from Mr Penman to Mr Taylor.


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