An American woman was left in tears after a Nomads Backpackers worker “barged” into her dorm room with little notice.
Cindy Wiener, 59, a retired doctor, has posted a scathing review on TripAdvisor - but the alcohol-free hostel says she hasn’t got her facts straight.
Wiener claims last Friday evening a male worker at Nomads, on Church Street, knocked on her door then instantly opened it.
She says she was sitting on her bed and asked why he barged in without waiting for a response.
The traveller claims the worker said: “If I waited you could have hid the booze.”
She replied: “But sir, I could have been naked!”
He agreed, she says, and proceeded to empty the rubbish bin, scan the dorm and leave the room.
She then watched him do the same to the rest of the rooms down the hall.
Nomads New Zealand operations manager, Aimee Jeffrey, tells Mountain Scene: “It’s really disappointing to get this feedback but it’s not an accurate description of what’s happened by any means.”
Wiener failed to mention that she was “screaming at the staff at reception”, she says.
Jeffrey insists staff knock, call out and wait before entering a dorm room.
“We drill it into them [staff] as part of their training procedures.”
Jeffrey says the worker in question is a long-time staffer and he followed procedures as per usual.
Wiener has since posted the scolding review on TripAdvisor - to join 28 other average to terrible ratings she has fired at accommodation providers.
The review says: “I believe the trash collection in this instance is being used as a ruse to violate the guests’ civil rights.”
After the incident, Wiener went to reception and demanded to see the manager, who had left for the evening.
“I went down to the office and there was a bunch of teeny boppers manning the desk,” she says.
Wiener was told that the process is “company policy from the highest level up”.
However, Jeffrey says Wiener’s story has been exaggerated.
Having housekeepers and other guests come into shared dorm-rooms is a natural part of staying at a backpackers, Jeffrey says.
But Wiener stands by her accusations.
“I believe the company knows for a fact it’s not right to enter people’s rooms willy-nilly.”
Nomads’ booze-free policy is thought to stem from a flood on Valentine’s Day two years ago.
Two smashed British backpackers swung from a sprinkler system pipe and broke it, sending hundreds of litres of water through the hostel and five other businesses in the same building.