Airbnb Hosts are Screwed. Just say no.

Welcome to Airbnb 2019. I have removed my listings. My how things have changed. I have been an Airbnb host since around 2010. I have always been a Superhost, for what that’s worth. It used to be so easy and so cool. Now it is truly a nightmare.

The focus has changed to be politically correct and all for the guest. The guest gets to see your photo but you can’t see theirs until they book. Really? How is that fair? Like a guest won’t discriminate based on my looks?

Any time you talk to customer service you are sent to India. Their accents can be so thick I have to ask them to repeat things and then I have to repeat things to them as well. Who is this working for? Why can’t they hire people in the states for these jobs? I had my account locked out for no reason and that has never happened. I will just make a list of what has happened this year.

I was locked out of my account. It took numerous calls to India and then no follow up. Magically it was unlocked.

My listing disappeared. It would show up in a Google search. When I logged into my dummy account (one I set up to see what guests actually see) it was not listed. It took two days and many phone calls to try to even explain this to the customer service. I kept telling them you need to look at this with an Airbnb account logged in, not my host account. Again hours on the phone. Exhausting.

I only take guests who have a complete profile. I state that in my listing in the first sentence. Yet Airbnb wants me to take anyone.

We no longer have the right to refuse a guest for any reason. If a guest takes too long to respond I politely tell them they need to respond soon or I won’t accept. Well Airbnb didn’t like that and it puts a mark against your account.

My feeling is Airbnb no longer want hosts who live in the homes. They want a turn-key operation just like a hotel. I am extremely upset by this. It’s like they want to run an underground hotel.

The host is not valued. We are being pushed out by investors and Airbnb loves that.

If you call and ask any questions they don’t want to hear about it. They blocked off a day for a guest who did not have their ID. They blocked that day out for 11 hours for the “potential” guest to provide Airbnb with an ID. I told them they better unblock the date as this was a new user and there was no guarantee I would even rent to him.

After this happened is when my listing disappeared. I do believe they take a retaliatory stance towards hosts.

Airbnb is actively weeding out owner occupied listings in favor of investor owned units. This is an underground hotel situation. They wont tell you to quit, they will just do what they did to me: make your life miserable so you quit.

Airbnb has turned very greedy. Any good they do comes off the back of the hosts.

Airbnb does not care about the safety of the host. If we don’t feel comfortable with a potential guest we should not be penalized for not accepting them.

Airbnb no longer has my support. I will do what I can to keep them from growing in my city. I will now oppose them. I see what their goal is. They want to get rid of owner-occupied properties and move into self-run homes turned into underground hotels.

I see the error of my ways with supporting Airbnb. All it does is cause more people to travel.

Guests are not as appreciative as they were when I first started. Most guests are still nice, but I can tell some wish we were not living in our home as they have gotten used to renting cheap space with no owners present.

I rented my space to share with other humans and had an experience. Airbnb used to be about that. Now they want to just be an underground hotel. Airbnb could care less how we hosts feel. Just say no to Airbnb.

Home Trashed by Airbnb Guest and no Customer Support

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An Airbnb guest trashed my home and Airbnb has been of no help whatsoever. A guest and his friends smoked in my home after specifically being asked not to. They emptied my locked storage areas and left indoor furniture and electrical items outside in the garden. They left cigarette butts all over the house and used the kitchenware as ashtrays. They ruined my coffee table and brand new kitchen worktops. My extendable dining table no longer closes fully or properly.

All this damage along with photographic evidence was provided by myself to Airbnb on the same day they checked out. I requested from the guest a sum of money to cover the damage but had no response. Airbnb did not intervene even though they supposedly do this after the 72 hours. They did not respond to my emails with any relevant information.

I was redirected to another member from the customer support team twice and on both occasions just told that they were sorry and will be in touch soon. I have been chasing Airbnb all week for updates or at least a timeline of procedure and what to expect. I have had no information or help at all.

Finally I called Airbnb to speak to a person who “couldn’t help” because it was not his department. I asked him to transfer me but he couldn’t do this either. When I asked him to give me the number of the department I was told that he couldn’t help with this either.

It has been a full week and I have had my home trashed and my own holiday ruined and Airbnb have done absolutely nothing to provide peace of mind or any help during the week. Their website suggests that these issues are dealt with swiftly and within a week. I find this very difficult to believe. I am stunned that such a well-established business like Airbnb can tolerate such incompetence within their customer support team.

Airbnb Strict Cancellation is not as Strict as it Seems

Airbnb gives you the opportunity of choosing a cancellation policy. I have chosen a strict cancellation policy which, per their terms, means a ‘full refund’. A woman booked my house many months ago at a heavily discounted price for this week. I received a message from Airbnb today stating that they cancelled her reservation today as she didn’t complete the payment. When I called (the email had zero explanations and was automatically generated) they stated that they would pay me only $800 (payment due was $2450) as she didn’t pay in full. Essentially, even if you have a strict policy and no privity of contract with the ultimate guests, Airbnb asks the hosts to carry the burden of their credit risk. Of course, customer service is anonymous and miserable and they refused to connect me to their legal team to explain to them why their cancellation policy is currently wrong and misleading.

Account Deleted After Guest Used Dodgy Credit Card

I began my journey with Airbnb in November of 2017. I manage an apartment building for my mom – who is the owner – in Accra, Ghana. Everything was going well; I had hosted over 30 guests, became a six-time Superhost with five-star reviews, and all was good in my world. 
  
In April 2018, I received an instant booking with an email confirmation from a new guest for a same-day arrival. I called the number attached to the booking to see when the guest would be arriving. The guest said within an hour. This hour stretched to a five-hour wait.
 
Call it intuition or something, but I went back into my Airbnb account and found that the reservation had disappeared from my inbox. I still had the email confirmation. I immediately called the guest to say I didn’t have a booking for them and that they shouldn’t come. They didn’t complain and just simply hung up. I then messaged Airbnb support to let them know what happened and was told that they had flagged the guest’s account for fraudulent activity. I thought the matter was closed. 
 
About a month later (mind you, it was a quiet month with no bookings) a former guest who had my number contacted me asking if I was still on the platform because she couldn’t find my listings on Airbnb. I started checking and couldn’t find my listings either even though in my hosting dashboard, all looked well.
 
I contacted Airbnb support and my client did as well. The first few contacts were useless with the agents telling me that there was nothing wrong with my account. One week later, nothing was solved and I began to call the helpline. After three separate calls, I found an agent who actually wanted to help. She investigated for about four more days and finally found out that the Airbnb department that deals with fraud and works pretty autonomously sent me an email back in April asking me to confirm my account or my account would be put on hold.
 
I frantically went looking for the email and found it sitting in my spam folder. A follow-up email was never sent. Long story short, after responding to the email, it took a week plus a few more calls to get an email response saying that my account had been activated again and that I should be mindful of the Airbnb Terms and Conditions. 
 
Two weeks after being reactivated, I received a new booking for a same-day arrival. The person who booked said he would be coming from another city the following morning but his cousin and a friend would be arriving that evening. The booking was paid for and there was government ID submitted.
 
The cousin and friend arrived and proceeded to stay for the entire eight-night reservation. The guest who booked never arrived and never returned my phone calls. At the end of the eight-night stay, the cousin said he wanted to extend the stay but this time using his own Airbnb account. I told him to go ahead and make the reservation when they were ready. By this point they had moved out of the apartment.
 
Two nights later, I received a booking request from him on Airbnb. I confirmed it and the reservation was confirmed. I received an email confirming it from Airbnb. I went about my errands and saw an email that came through stating that the reservation was cancelled. Then I received another from that special Airbnb department stating my account had been deactivated for not following the terms and conditions.
 
I called their agent immediately and was told that they were not obliged to tell me why my account was deleted. I sent an email telling them how I came to know the guest and then received another email saying that my account was permanently deactivated and they didn’t have to explain why. 
 
Thanks for reading that. My takeaways from this were:
 
– I was terribly disappointed that a so-called professional company would treat its hosts so poorly.
– There was a new scam being run by guys in West Africa and instead of Airbnb protecting the hosts, they decided to protect themselves and not explain their position.
– If you are a host and receive a same-day booking from someone, please go back in the system and make sure the reservation exists or you will end up the same way I did. 
– Think twice before reporting any dodgy behavior because you may be held liable for it.
 
Now, I shall look for other portals to list my properties on but the financial damage has been felt.

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Airbnb Hosting Fail: Lying on Company Time

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I have been trying to cancel a stay for a guest that added to his original date and somehow decided not to pay for the last day, as in he changed his payment method or something. I am still listening to Airbnb’s Muzak. One person hung up on me. Another had such a deep accent I had no idea what he was saying and when I asked him to speak more clearly he blew up. He interrupted me three times as I tried to give the reservation number and proceeded to say I was first person who couldn’t understand him and was unable to move past this. He talked over me. Then he hung up when I told him: “Stop being tangential. Listen to the code so I can cancel.”

Now I am talking to a case manager, on hold so far for 18 minutes just to cancel. Over one hour to cancel someone who had a cancelled card and no replacement. This is one of four issues I think could have been solved quickly if their website wasn’t missing so many options. It won’t let you make changes without calling them, AKA wasting twenty minutes to two hours per call.

They have also “closed” multiple tickets with no follow up. One guest stole my remote controls. They closed that account because she was a junkie, and I couldn’t see it when she checked in, or smoked with the door open. However, I could tell by her and her guy’s appearance and mannerisms that he was on heroin and she was on meth. I cancelled their reservation and Airbnb keeps me on the phone as they “try to contact guests”, who of course, ignored the calls because they are junkies.

They stole remotes, peed in the basement and ruined bedding. Airbnb didn’t do a thing to reimburse me. The junkies gave me a one-star review and since I was new at hosting, soon after I had no say in it; Airbnb closed my account, so I never got paid back.

I started a listing with a new account and the glowing incidents have happened. One guest entered my next door neighbor’s house. We have clearly marked addresses. I asked for a credit for making my neighbors rightfully scared and angry. They “escalated” the case to a person who apparently can’t even write back to say “Sorry, can’t help.” Nothing other than hours of me explaining how mad I was, many times, with no followup.

Next, a family came and ruined some things like a shoe rack and got stains on the bedding. I asked the guest for reimbursement. They didn’t pay and Airbnb is supposed to take this out of their security deposit since I have clear pictures and even them admitting that they broke the shoe rack.

Still, ten days later, nothing but me repeating myself like a parrot to thickly accented robots who all say “Just one moment, bear with me. May I put you on a brief hold?” and other scripted garbage for “I am doing the least I can for you and have no problem ignoring exactly what you’re clearly stating but will instead regurgitate ‘Airbnb policy’ that has nothing to do with anything other than they assign this to a case manager who, again, either deletes their emails/cases or lacks in even flooring up with me, ever.”

Next, they won’t remove bad feedback. I had a guy give me two stars on location because he literally couldn’t follow his GPS and get out of his car when it said you have arrived at the address. Instead he called me “lost” and after six minutes of telling him where to go, he still went to the wrong house (see above) and stayed there until my neighbors opened their door, saw him in their living room, and told him to get the f*** out.

This dumba*** who can’t follow GPS to get to a very easy to find inner city house goes into someone else’s house, and gets to ding me on location, which hurts my ratings. Will they take these rational explanations into account? Lol – hell no. They just say as long as his review doesn’t have boobies.com or mention the Airbnb investigation that’s open or give my address he can say anything he wants and the feedback stays.

Then they say a guest is only to say a location isn’t a five-star one if I lie about where I am. Yet they won’t remove a terrible review from a guy who clearly has severe intoxication or mental health issues. They let a guest say absolute lies – libel is the legal term for written lies – and kept the feedback. I had one first say my walls weren’t finished, when I have sheetrocked walls. Granted they can use new paint, but saying it was an unfinished room with no real walls? Airbnb just lets it slide because the guests didn’t spam their website with feedback.

I really want to sue this company for wasting my time, money and lying about host guarantees. One of the biggest complaints came from a guest who said he was canceled on in Miami twice in a weekend and had to get a $1000 hotel at the last minute instead of the few hundred for his room his host cancelled “because he decided to stay there himself”. After hours of back and forth, Airbnb comped him $150.

They take no ownership in the hassles. They need to be empathetic and therefore I am confident they will be quickly replaced by a more reasonable company with decent policies and good customer service. I hope another company can bury the bad excuses of Airbnb because I have never had so much frustration with a company that says they will do something and then does nothing. I’m trying to cancel all my reservations without penalty and so far haven’t had anyone respond to my request. If you want to sue this immoral company, I am in line for a class action lawsuit.

Hope Making Good Curry was Worth it

I’ve been a host with Airbnb for years and found with solid house rules, filtering guests with no government ID through using Instant Book and reminding guests using a house manual including rules, I’ve had no problems.

I recently had guests who cooked curry every night for a week and the cleaning was a nightmare. I hadn’t thought to put “no cooking strong curries” in my house rules. The whole guest suite needed cleaning, including the walls, curtains, verticals, lounge and I had to hire an ozone machine to do the rest.

One week later, the smell had gone. This could happen with any rental, so it’s important to add this rule into a contract or house rules list.

Even though the guest was non responsive to my request for payment, Airbnb followed up immediately (after their 72-hour wait for guest to respond time), and refunded the costs of this incident. So even though my curry nightmare was not good, Airbnb was responsive, positive, caring and great.

Many of the things I’m reading on this site may be due to hosts not choosing to set firm enough boundaries and house rules. Those who choose anyone as a guest over filtering guests with ID, are always running a risk no matter which platform they choose to list their property on. I’ve found Airbnb to be nothing but wonderful.

Never Allow Friends to Set up your Airbnb Account

My friend set up our account with Airbnb. She made herself the host and me a point of contact. All payments were going to my Paypal account. She was supporting me to get my business up and running. She had absolutely never put any money into the business. I was financing it all on my own.

After a year, the business was not doing well and I found myself in a financial down slope. I told her I no longer needed her help and that we should part our separate ways. I asked her to surrender the account to me or delete the account altogether. I solicited help from another company that had experience in business to help me.

In the meantime, she changed the password on me so I couldn’t go into the account and changed the default payment so all payments would be forwarded to her corporate account; I would not be able to get any payments for guests staying in my house.

I called Airbnb multiple times and had my situation forwarded to a “case manager” that in the end just sent me emails saying how sorry they were but couldn’t do anything for me. I got an attorney involved and worked directly with my “friend” after she took my money. I had to gently remove guests from my house and block them from entering after they would arrive.

Finally she said she shut down the account. I had to file a police report on her, contact the Better Business Bureau about Airbnb, and had a restraining order so she can’t come near my home. I had each incoming guest call Airbnb so they would get a refund but what an inconvenience for everyone.