I hosted a successful apartment in Brooklyn to unanimously good reviews, but because of the constant frustrations dealing with Airbnb finally shut the account down. My apartment is great, but one of the things people always commented on was what a good attentive host I was (good customer service). Wish I could say the same for Airbnb.
I deactivated my account and so obviously stopped getting requests. Then a few months later I started getting requests every day (which is normal when my account is active) For the first few people, I wrote them back and said I’m not sure what is going on, but this is not an active account (no, I had not simply blocked my calendar).
Soon I was frustrated by the constant barrage of requests, but I no longer even have the app on my phone, and had one problem after the next trying to get through to guests on the phone or by text or email: not getting the “code”, getting accidentally cut off, not getting a human, not getting return email. Just one issue after another and I’m busy and feel like they are relying on me to do their work for them.
I let Airbnb know that I have been doing them the courtesy of denying requests, but only for the guest’s sake, and that I am no longer going to continue to do that. They tell me to deactivate my account and I tell them I did that months ago. I requested that a tech person look at the account and tell me how this could have happened. I say that if I deactivate my account, what is to say it won’t suddenly become “active” again, and I’ll have to go through this all over again. They say they are quite literally unable to deactivate my account and that they are going to fine me for the two reservations that have just been auto booked.
I ask them to please scroll through my messages and they will see that I have been trying to make them aware of this problem, and that guests would soon be auto booking, and that I was no longer doing their admin for them and responding to guests on an inactive account.
Finally they refund my “fines” and deactivate my account (after swearing this was impossible many times) when I push for a tech person to please look into what has happened. They have been so capricious, awful, and misinformed, that I was unwilling to deactivate my account for the second time, but they did not back down until I insisted a tech person look into it.
Here is my question though: is it possible that they “accidentally” reactivate well performing accounts in hot markets where they are low on available lodging in hopes that people will just accept the reservations? Maybe I’m just being paranoid, but they have done such shady stuff that I wonder.
I TOTALLY had a similar experience!!! I had a home in Silicon Valley (you wondered if they do this in markets that are hot?!?!) that I was doing Airbnb quite successfully but like you decided to go another direction. I rented the home out long-term and had a tenant living in the property on a year-long lease. Like You, I have a ton of 5-star reviews for good customer service. Like you, I deactivated my account, and Airbnb reactivated TWICE!!!
The first time it happened, I thought it was a mistake I had made. The second time I KNEW it was impossible for me to have accidentally reactivated the account…why? Bc we are Jewish and it was Yom Kippur! Jews do NO business on Yom Kippur. Most like us, turn off all devices and spend the day fasting and having self-reflection. After the holiday (Yom Kippur) was over, we turned on our cell phones. They BLEW UP with a TON of texts and emails. Unlike you, I still had the app on my phone so I could see that “somehow” our account got reactivated (on Yom Kippur).
A nice man from Georgia (the state) that worked in construction (very hot and guys come from all over the country to build mega-mansions for the Geek Elite) and had reserved and paid for a 2 month’s reservation. Over 13K!! On top of it, he had shipped some much-needed equipment and supplies to the address bc he thought that he had a nice home to live in and run his one-man construction company from. Oh yeah, he was driving across the country in his work pickup truck and did not have access to a computer until he came into a town where he could get out his laptop and deal with this mess. Oy Vey!!!
I called him first to tell him that he will need to cancel the reservation bc we not only did not list it but we had a long-term tenant in the home for over 3 months. I called my tenant and thankfully he was understanding. The tenant owned a cleaning company and had clients that do Airbnb. He knew that we were MIA due to Yom Kippur too, so he knew we did not do this and it was Airbnb 100% at fault.
We were able to work it all out but to no thanks to Airbnb but to ppl being cool to strangers just bc it is the right thing to do. The guy (“guest”) was pretty understanding. The tenant received his deliveries long enough for him to find another house and finish driving across the country. It was kind of beautiful how we all worked together to make it through the mess that Airbnb created.
So, you asked if you think Airbnb makes deactivated listings reactivated bc it is lucrative for them? Uh, I would say “YES!!!!” Does it happen in hot markets? Yes!!! again. Do they think that people will just take the reservation and work it out to get the $? Seems so.
Like you, they (Airbnb) totally denied that they activated the listing. Like you they told me it was impossible. Only after we insisted that we are Jewish and observant and that we could prove we were not even online (cell phones were turned off, etc) when the reservation was accepted did they admit that “something maybe went wrong on their end. Weird?”
I totally do not trust Airbnb. They are just after the money and really do not care about ppl. Thankfully in my case, we all pulled together to work it out and it was only one big incident.
I had almost the same thing happen. Except I never rejected guests because I had deactivated the account and deleted the app. Half a dozen guests showed up over a full month. In the end I even had to shut down the bank account airbnb was using and told the doorman to tell people there were no airbnb apartments in the building. Hate to inconvenience people showing up but at least airbnb had to deal with the upset guests. Took them a full 37 days to finally remove the listing they reactivated