Epic $4000 Communication Fail in Deactivated Superhost Account

It’s summer in Oklahoma and very hot. My partner and I have traveled here from Louisville to say goodbye to his 91-year-old grandma and to clean out 91 years’ worth of stuff from her home… so many things. Also, so many tiny rodent roommates.

As a Superhost, I wanted to make sure my Airbnb listing was maintained to my standards while we were away, so I blocked all the dates out on our Airbnb calendar for the time we were away and made sure to have my phone around, Airbnb notifications on, in case I was needed by upcoming guests or had a reservation request. I checked in on the app daily for messages just to make sure that things were fine. No new news, just two pending reviews that I would take care of on the long car ride home.

Then, from out of nowhere, there was a message from a guest asking why we had canceled her upcoming stay? “That’s weird,” I thought, “the only guests I want to cancel are the mice who had been illegally staying with grandma.”

I quickly sent my guest a response letting her know that I was on the road but I would look into it as soon as I got back, which by this time was only a day away. I got home and sat down in front of my computer where I still had no new messages from Airbnb. There were no notifications, but I couldn’t seem to view my reservations.

“Huh, so weird,” I think… “what is going on?” I looked at my upcoming earnings… and there were none. Nothing. Then the next guest I was preparing for was also suddenly gone. Something was terribly wrong. I frantically searched my email for clues, and there it was: an email that my account will be deactivated within 24 hours if I do not confirm my account sent less than a week ago.

Are you kidding me? 24 hours? An email! In my whole life as a host I have never communicated with Airbnb via email. Never. We have apps and online accounts. My partner’s number is signed up to get a text for every message, request, and inquiry. Yet they decided to contact us about something so incredibly important through an email?

There should have been a massive red bar on my account that says “Check your email for account verification or you will be deactivated in 24 hours.” There should have been a phone call. There should have been a text. Literally any additional way of getting in touch with us besides an email. To be honest had I seen the email, I may not have even trusted it because they were asking for confirmation of payment details, which seemed suspicious in and of itself.

So now I wait. No one could answer exactly why my account had been chosen for confirmation/deactivation in the first place but it’s been “passed along” to the technical people and they’ll get back to me. Eight hours and two more phone calls later, I’ve been assured it’s underway at the technical department with the highest priority.

Meanwhile, I have an apartment sitting empty and unbookable during the busiest time of the year, $4000 of cancelled reservations from Airbnb and countless lost hours of labor sending correspondence with those who had booked. I wish I could send all that mouse poop I cleaned out of grandma’s house priority freaking mail directly to Airbnb right now.