Multicultural Hosts Slammed with Xenophobic Claims

This is a long story, one too long for me to live all over again as it still is stressful and leaves me anxious. However, I just discovered Airbnb Hell, so I decided to share my story and hopefully help future hosts. My wife and I have been hosts on Airbnb for a year. During the past year we had more than 250 guests from all parts of the world, from all “races”, backgrounds, sexual preferences, genders… you get my point. We are artists who love to meet different people, with different habits. It’s inspiring to us; that’s one of the reasons we started this whole Airbnb thing. We have a wall full of letter already, with love letters from most of the guests who came here. This wall is in the dinning room for everyone to see we are proud of being good hosts and making people feel comfortable in our home, that we insist guests look at it as their home while they stay with us.

My solution for hosts with problematic guests is: accept a guest, wait a couple of hours, and then phone Airbnb to evict the said guest for breaking house rules. We got a reservation from a non-English speaking guest. For that reason it was imposssible to communicate that this is a home, not some hostel. When you can’t communicate with your guest, or when your other guests (we list two rooms) can’t communicate between themselves, the system doesn’t work.

It says in our “rules” that we really want the guests to have a *basic* knowledge of English, French, Italian or Spanish (none of these languages are even our first language). The guest made a reservation, and send a message with really broken english that made no sense at all. It looked more like a Korean-to-English Google translate job. We had to decline the reservation (this was like two months before the actual arrival, so there was plenty of time to find another place) The guest got very offended and called Airbnb. They gave us a penalty and then slammed us with their “inclusion policy”.

I wrote this enormous email, asking for them to see our previous reservations and feedback (we never had anything lower than four stars). I also said that with our history of good hosting with no prejudice at all to creed, color, race, gender was never a issue, sending us that inclusion policy was a bit pretentious, as we just want to have good communication in our house. We also said that if we can’t communicate with a guest we can’t explain the house rules, and it would be worse to have a guest here that would break a rule; then Airbnb would have to find him another place. For us, as decent open-minded humans, we would have felt really bad to kick another human out just because of that. Because if you don’t understand English, how can I explain anything to you?

Airbnb policy says I cannot discriminate and should use tools to communicate with my guest when they are impaired in any way: deaf, blind. This was not the case. The person was not impared at all.

This is where the fun starts. We got a reply from Airbnb support saying: “We are deeply distrubed that a host of ours find our inclusion policy pretentious.” It’s cleary writen in the email “I find the action of you sending me this policy a bit pretentious.” I never said the policy itself was pretentious. Even with my history of bookings, that makes no sense for me to say. They insisted I found it pretentious, gave me a penalty for it, blocked the dates the guest wanted, and didn’t let me book them to another person.

The next time a guest comes claiming he “can’t communicate” you accept him, and then you try and explain the rules to him. When he can’t understand them, you just call Airbnb. It’s not a very humane thing to do, but it’s basicly how Airbnb works. If the guest was here and I had done that I would have been paid. Most importantly, I wouldn’t have received a penalty or had my dates blocked.

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2 Comments

  1. Pingback: El infierno de Airbnb - Pons Asinorum

  2. You see? This is why the liberty of a businessman should be full with no limitation of these various discrimination laws. You should be able to kindly refuse service to anyone you want for any reason you want.

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