As a host, I know my market very well and set my nightly rates manually. I do not allow Airbnb to make suggestions or rate changes for my property. Despite this, I received a reservation request from a guest who received a rate $300 less per night for a three-night stay so that I would receive about $1000 less than I should. Every single other night’s rate surrounding these specific rates are all the correct rates that I set. Magically, this one specific reservation request gets different rates, and I am confident I could have filled those nights at the correct rate so there was never any possibility that I would have ever allowed those rates to be published.
When I contacted Airbnb customer service, the first person with whom I spoke did not speak enough English to be even understand what I was trying to explain. She passed me to another agent, with marginally better verbal skills, who told me that Airbnb has the right to set whatever rate they believe is ‘fair’ to get the property booked. Knowing this is not accurate, I asked to speak to a manager who could clarify. The manager did indeed tell me this was not accurate however it still must have been I who changed the rates down (on a holiday weekend, no less) and that I could cancel the reservation myself.
I do not believe that this particular guest is at fault and should not have his reservation cancelled. I also do not believe I should accept responsibility for some “strange glitch” as the manager offered, and then having to live with the very public note that says the reservation was “cancelled by owner” which never goes away. I then spoke with one more manager who told me very seriously that she would make sure the right people were informed and that I would be contacted that Monday.
That was about six weeks ago, and every single one of my emails has gone unanswered. No one will now even speak to me on the phone about it since I had already opened a “case file.” I have been listed on VRBO for almost five years and have never had any issues. Every time I call my issue is resolved, and I am extremely pleased with the reservation requests and bookings I get on that site. I tell absolutely everyone to avoid Airbnb; the properties are just as good if not better on VRBO and from an owner’s perspective, a much better platform. Airbnb will never do the right thing.