Over a week ago from the time of this writing, I logged into my Airbnb account only to find all of my bookings (over $1000 worth) had disappeared. There was no indication of why this would’ve happened except an email sent that afternoon (which appeared to be a virus) that a “random” background check was performed on me by their company (Inflection Safe Decision API), and that as a result, Airbnb made the decision to “permanently deactivate” my Superhost account. Several guests (some repeat guests) were forced to inconveniently alter their plans and find other accommodations.
Immediate calls to Airbnb Support yielded nothing, as I was informed the decision fell to their “Trust Department,” for whom they not only had no phone number or were able to transfer me to, but indicated would not respond to an email for 2-3 business days. Having no other options, I decided to take the risk of opening the link in this suspicious email. It led to a report of a criminal charge from nearly three years ago in which it stated clearly in its outcome that all charges had been dismissed.
At the end of a two-day wait (Friday evening), I received an email from Airbnb Community Support stating that my Superhost account was removed due to this criminal record, and stated “this is a violation of the Airbnb Community Standards.” However, nowhere in these standards does it state that it is a violation to be charged with a crime. I point this out in an email, stating that any innocent host or guest could potentially be charged with a crime at any point for numerous reasons beyond one’s control, but what matters is a conviction. I asked where in these standards was the “violation” they referred to.
After five days and further loss of income, I got no response and decided to email again. After a day of calls and emails, I received a generic apology for the delay. Shockingly, it also stated, entirely falsely, that “the public records that were used in this determination did not show that the charges were dismissed.” I was asked to provide documentation of this outcome in order to have my account reinstated.
A reply has now been sent, where I’ve highlighted the plainly stated outcome of a “dismissal” within the very same public record which they used against me. While I have ample evidence of my innocence. Not only does it remain to be seen if my Superhost account with its hundreds of glowing reviews will be reinstated, but Airbnb has not refunded the several hundreds of dollars in lost income that they caused.
If there ever was an ‘Airbnb nightmare’ for a host, surely this exemplifies it. That Airbnb does nothing to inform a host of this “random” action is bad enough, but it appears they cannot even bother to review the information their own background check company provides them before or after deciding to take devastating action on it. Their complete lack of lines of communication for hosts and cancelled guests in such a matter is equally inexcusable. I never imagined Airbnb, who has previously provided outstanding customer service, would treat a Superhost with such inflexible negligence.