Airbnb Claims Hosts are its Partners but Shows Differently

I feel that Airbnb has taken a drastic downward spiral and supporting its “partners,” as they eloquently call its hosts. It’s just plain bad business and I find it condescending in light of its behavior. I’m sure I’m not the only Superhost that has been treated so poorly. The platform seems to have taken a paradigm shift of supporting guests who feel entitled in today’s trying times and punishing hosts. They do not stand by us like they want did.

I had a guest who stayed at one of the listings that I manage. I left him a bad review. He waited two weeks to see if he was going to get $100 out of me because the host had actually gone in and changed out his toilet paper. It was a new host and he just wanted everything to be perfect. When the man got back to his room he said he didn’t request to have new toilet paper. He claimed that he didn’t know that I was the manager and that there was someone else who was the owner living in the attached property. The listing makes repeated mentions of the owner, his name, and that he lives in the attached property for the convenience of the guests.

I cut and pasted all of the sections for him and sent them to him. He thanked me for the clarification and seemed fine. Then he revisited it and said he never asked for these items, yet again. I told him the host would not be entering his listing again and asked if there were any other concerns that I could alleviate. He wanted to know that the owner was vaccinated. I reassured him that the owner indeed was vaccinated, that he wears a mask and gloves when entering the property and that he is the person that cleaned the property moments before the man arrived. He thanked me again and said he understood but just wanted me to understand how he felt.

I told him just as a good gesture we would offer him $100 credit towards a future stay in hopes that he would have a much more pleasant experience. This was not required, and quite frankly nor was it deserved…. but it was offered. Immediately the man replied back he would like to have that hundred dollars applied towards his current stay. Once there was a time when if you bent over backwards to put extra accommodations and amenities like a better quality toilet paper, people would’ve said “well, what a nice gesture.” Now they just steal the supplies if there is an abundance and complain about the extra gestures as though they were invasive.

What reason did he give for wanting $100 applied towards his current stay? He lived out of town and he “might” be moving out of state. Weird fact. Practically all of our guests live out of town, thus the reason for lodging. I told him I would sit down with our team and figure out whether or not this would be justifiable under the circumstances. He was so helpful that he immediately sent me a link on Airbnb as to how to refund his money. I never said I didn’t know how to refund the money. I said I needed to figure out with our team if it was justifiable. That’s a huge difference.

Needless to say, we reached the conclusion that the host should not be punished for trying to do a good deed that was misunderstood. We left him a review right away. Naturally it was negative. He waited the full 14 days and got a hold of us again and said are you gonna give me the refund you “offered“? We never offered him a refund on his current stay. Further when he saw his review and realized he was waiting to see if he could get money before giving a review, he called to Airbnb to complain.

The thing that troubled me about Airbnb is that I called them immediately when the situation occurred during the individual’s stay. Airbnb seemed to stand by me and thanked me for calling them. They said it appeared as though this guy was used to doing this considering he sent the link right away. The customer service rep even laughed about it, suggesting the gall of this person, as outrageous to think such a thing.

This is why it confuses me that two weeks later and right after the man’s review appeared, he called and complained about the situation. His complaint was retaliatory because he did not get the refund he was looking for. Ironically without even asking me about the situation or referring back to our original call with Airbnb, they paused my listing. There was no notification, no email, and no explanation.

When I called them, I reached one of their reps that works from home and was reassured they would call me at 9:00 the next morning. Needless to say, I am writing this story after 10:00 the very same morning and still have not received a call from Airbnb. I think it is one of the worst business practices to suggest that we are partners and treat us like we are a dog that gets slapped in the nose with a newspaper whether what we’ve done is wrong or just because they’ve decided to take the side of a guest without even hearing the side of the host.

It’s unfortunate because we have been with Airbnb since 2012, only four years after they even started business. We are part of the house that built their platform and made them so successful and they treat us like trash at this point. I have tagged the review I wrote about this unscrupulous guest, but then Airbnb has become that way so I can see why it would attract that type of individual. They endorse and condone Machiavellian behavior.

Threats and Lies from Horrible Guests

I wanted to take a moment to share our recent experience with Airbnb and explain why we will be deleting our listing and not renting our home. We are being threatened by a crazy guest who cancelled her reservation and was upset at the cancellation policy.

Someone named “Maygan” booked a reservation at our home for one guest. I accepted the reservation and began chatting with her through Airbnb messages. In these messages she informed me that there would be twelve people staying at the house. I informed her that our home only sleeps ten, but I could increase the maximum to twelve if she promised to take excellent care of our home. She agreed and thanked me.

When she made the change the price increased and I explained that there is an incremental increase in price for parties greater than four guests. Maygan is claiming that we are scammers because we charge more for a party of twelve than we do for a party of four. I disagree.

When I book properties through Airbnb as a guest I always make sure I put in the correct party size so that the system shows me accurate prices of places when I consider booking. Instead of thinking that we are charging more for larger parties, I prefer to think that we are offering a discounted rate to smaller parties.

Regardless, Maygan accepted the reservation change, which clearly shows the price changes. She then said she was going to check with the rest of her party to make sure everyone was still interested. Since it had been two days since the reservation was originally booked, Airbnb charged her card for the reservation she was booking.

Towards the end of the second day Maygan decided to cancel the reservation, but due to Airbnb’s cancellation policy, she was informed that she would not be getting a refund. At this point she apparently told her group that “the hosts went ahead and charged her credit card without authorization for the entire amount of the reservation.”

Maygan claims that it was a couple of hours from the time she booked until the time she cancelled. I wish that were the case, but unfortunately she booked in the early morning on 2/27 and cancelled in the evening on 2/28.

After this I was contacted by Airbnb and asked if I would refund Maygan’s money. Every single time a reservation had been cancelled up to this point, I have been asked by Airbnb to make an exception and refund the money… and I have always allowed it. This time I said I would refund the full amount if our home was able to re-book for the dates or I would refund half of the amount if I was unable to re-book for the dates.

I was traveling out of town that weekend for a baby moon, as we used IVF and surrogacy to (very expensively) get pregnant with twins. It is a month until they will be born and our soon-to-be children’s godparents decided to gift us a baby moon trip to rural Colorado.

It was a wonderful trip and upon arriving back home I received an Airbnb message from someone in Maygan’s group. This person created a fake spam account on Airbnb and messaged me to say that I was an unethical and evil person because I wouldn’t make an exception to the cancellation policy.

This person then said they posted our physical address, names and personal information on this site and others in the hope that other people would get angry. They said, “Who knows what other angry trolls will do to you.”

This person then threatened to get into our home somehow and plant lots of bedbugs in the beds, release full traps of deer ticks in the yard in the hopes that we would get Lyme disease, post fake items for sale on internet sites in the hopes of having lots of random strangers come to the house, etc.

This person then sent another message saying that they could see on the calendar that people would be at the house this weekend and they were going to “post an anonymous classified ad at the house while it was booked so dozens of people would show up looking for stuff… it will be an ordeal.”

At the end of this horrible message it ended with, “P.S. I enjoyed looking at your photos of the wedding in (LOCATION). The photographer did an excellent job. You too look really happy.”

Now this person is stalking me? I have reached out to law enforcement and was told that these threats could be considered criminal harassment and result in fines and a year in jail. Now, I don’t want it to go that far but it is nice to know that the law is on my side here

What I have proposed is that if Maygan provides the identity of the person threatening my property and family I will authorize Airbnb to refund all of her money. If something were to happen to my home or my family, I want to know the identity of the person that was threatening us.

I will update this but for now I am just awaiting Maygan’s response. I do think it’s a little ironic that someone is hiding behind a fake profile in order to threaten me and make my personal information public.