A new system to hold guests accountable

Sybe
Online Community Manager
Online Community Manager
London, United Kingdom

A new system to hold guests accountable

guest-accountability-XL copia.png

 

 

 

When you welcome guests to stay in your space, it’s essential that they respect your home, follow your house rules, communicate promptly if issues arise, and avoid creating a mess. So, we’re introducing ground rules for guests – a new set of enforceable standards that all guests must follow.

 

If a guest breaks ground rules, they get a warning the first time. If the issues persist, they'll be suspended and, if necessary, permanently removed from Airbnb.

 

You’ll still be able to write any additional house rules for guests to follow. And if a guest violates any of your house rules, we’ll support you if you need to cancel the reservation early. 

 

Read more about it on the Resource Center.


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65 Replies 65
Gillian166
Level 10
Hay Valley, Australia

@Huma0  I don't know why the mods keep giving us links to articles, there's limited info in them and plenty of vague phrasing. We ask questions, no one has answers. I feel for them, it shouldn't be their job to manage the fallout. And it could be avoided simply by have beta testers who come to the forums and explain the reasoning.  

Bubba-Lee0
Level 8
null

Because they are using scripted responses in place of actual answers. So we are being told only what Chesky wants us to hear, not what we want to hear.

I hope I don't get admonished again for calling out the obvious use of scripted responses. I was told I was being mean.

Gisele158
Level 2
New York, NY

I spent over 20 hours being passed from person to person trying to resolve a retaliatory review before I gave up. Told time and again it's basically okay for a guest to do damage, completely fabricate conversations, refute photographic evidence and leave a review that (as a new host) severely damaged my ranking. 


Then I gave up in disgust and disappointment.

I know I am not alone. 

Bhumika
Online Community Manager
Online Community Manager
Toronto, Canada

Hello @Gillian166 @Gisele158 ,

 

We are trying to work towards this feedback, and make more information available regarding  retaliatory reviews. Let me get back to you once I get more updates.

 

Thanks,

Bhumika

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Gillian166
Level 10
Hay Valley, Australia

@Gisele158  I suspect that the CS team have not received any training in this "new upgrade". 

Bubba-Lee0
Level 8
null

@Gillian166  That's because the update came out at the end of their shift and  they're going to be away from their desk for the for the next 3 days, so they missed it. 

Gillian166
Level 10
Hay Valley, Australia

@Bubba-Lee0 🤣🤣

Michael6934
Level 2
null

@Sybe 

 

It is such a hassle to cancel reservations when house rules are not respected....first of all you are earning a negative review from the guest. Then, the slow response from Airbnb support and the worse is to confront your guests one on one asking them to leave. I always feel scared when i do that.

Jenny
Online Community Manager
Online Community Manager
Galashiels, United Kingdom

Hi @Michael6934 

 

As @Sybe says - feel free to pop over to the discussion thread if you'd like to read more about review system updates - there you can also give us your feedback on what you think or ask any questions about the update!

Jenny


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Deb75
Level 6
Altamont, TN

Seems like 'give us your feedback' has been pretty vocal here already. Anyone listening?  All of this stuff is the reason I shut down my wonderful cabin, always booked (Until the May 'roll out'),  loved by guests, on Sept 1 of this year.  Airbnb has failed many of us.  Many of us were with them for more than 5 years.  

I miss it at times, but do NOT miss trying to deal with  'customer service ' (that was hysterically not 'service') and changing THEIR committment to hosts.  I signed up with a sincere understanding and commitment to Airbnb to follow their policies, do a bang up job as an ambassador for their company, and they were pretty darn good keeping THEIR end of the bargain until recently.  I tried and tried to work with their 'new program'. I tried and tried to deal with their CS personnel.  Nothing worked in favor of the host. SO they 'won'.  I quit.  Sad, because several of my guests have contacted me and stated how much they will miss my 'little slice of heaven' as many of them stated....

I guess no one nowadays can expect these companies to adhere to their commitments to the people who are the reason they exist...the HOST.  I guess they think we will just toe the line because we are so desperate to remain in the business....They seem to forget there ARE other options that do not include megliomaniac CEOs, ridiculous guest favoring 'rules', and non existent host support...Sad...it was a great ride while it lasted for me.  

Sybe
Online Community Manager
Online Community Manager
London, United Kingdom

@Deb75  Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I'm sorry to hear you decided to stop hosting through Airbnb and I can imagine how frustrating of an experience it must've been to push you to make that decision.

 

We OCMs and Admins are always collecting feedback that's shared here on the Community Center to pass it on to the relevant teams within Airbnb, and we're extra diligent during periods of big changes like this Winter Release. Many of the changes introduced in the Winter Release are a direct result of feedback from Hosts over the years here and across various other channels, including Support, the local Clubs, and the feedback form.

 

If there was or is a particular issue you're struggling with, please do feel free to reach out to me via DM and I'll be more than happy to see how I can help you. 🙂


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Sybe
Online Community Manager
Online Community Manager
London, United Kingdom

@Michael6934 Retaliatory reviews is something we see a lot of Hosts on here worry about.

 

With the changes to both the review policy and ground rules it'll be easier to enforce them, and if it does result in a retaliatory review you can read in @Jenny 's post here that you'll now be able to dispute them. 😃

 

Asking the guest to leave will always be difficult, but if you need to cancel a reservation because of a violation of the ground rules Airbnb can support you.


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Tina9064
Level 3
Fairfield, CA

First off, I'm sure many hosts who visit these boards are thankful for OCM's like yourself, along with Bhumika and Jenny, who at least try to provide a compassionate ear.

 

Honestly, though, AirBnb needs to come up with a different name other than "retaliatory reviews" and saying hosts can get them removed because that is not what's happening. Being "retaliatory" means you're seeking REVENGE for something that happened to you. In effect, if you lie and exaggerate your story, all the better because AirBnb does not factor "truth or fairness" into their decisions.

 

I tried to dispute a "R" review, could prove (by video) that guest lied and exaggerated part of his 1-star review. He also forgot to mention getting 1 night of 2 refunded even due to my strict cancellation policy.

 

Despite getting at least 45 straight 5-star reviews over the past year, all that instantly vanished as his review cut my 4.89 rating down to 4.82. None of this "something doesn't smell right" was taken into consideration. AirBnb's position was the guest is entitled to his "experience" opinion. I seriously doubt he was even warned, as AirBnb threatens to do in their "policy", for violating my listing details and house/ground rules.

 

Situations like this can't be easy to find solutions to and my experience falls way short of what others have had to deal with. Still, by coddling these manipulative guests who are very steadily learning how to get free nights by creating imaginary issues, AirBnb is creating a situation that is going to drive hosts away to other platforms.

 

Hosts are expected to put their safety at risk kicking guests out of their homes and then 1) not receive anything close to what the damages were, 2) not get consistent and/or reliable support from AirBnb (even if they called the company from the very moment guest entered the home), 3) received no call-back even though CS promised them one, 4) see the company take the guest's word without proof, and 5) have to suck up a bad review on top of everything because the guest was smart enough to not specifically threaten "extortion" from the host in writing their review.

 

The company cannot have it both ways, as a third-party website which wants to stay neutral as they bring together 2 parties wanting to do business, or as an employer who is retaining the right to "deduct" payment from hosts and leaving them little choice but to tolerate rude/lying/destructive guests. Oh sure, we can leave a bad review, but it's easy for a guest to create a new profile. In the meantime, the host has to constantly worry if standing up for their own house rules is worth taking a hit on their rating. 

 

I doubt there is any other system on the web where a 4-star rating is literally a death blow. For example, here's what an average person expects from a 1-5 rating, and what AirBnb's model for Superhosts is. Also, with this review system, this is what happens.

 

Host A:..............5*...........................................................................average: 5.0

Host B:..............5*+5*+5*+5*+5*....5*+5*+5*+5*+5*....

…........................5*+5*+5*+5*+5*....5*+5*+5*+5*+5* + 1*........average: 4.8

So host B looks worse compared to host A who has one 5* rating.

 

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Maybe AirBnb can consider making the "Overall' score, truly that...an AVERAGE of all of the other ratings for Communication, Cleanliness, Location, etc., not just it's own separate category. That would relieve a lot of pressure off of hosts' shoulders. There. That's feedback.

Ryan2594
Level 3
Inverness, United Kingdom

Why is it that when a guest has cancelled both they and the host can leave a review? 

It seems rather bizarre and can leave retaliated reviews from the guest if they aren’t subjected to a full refund.  

Ruth413
Level 10
Moreton, United Kingdom

@Sybe   Jenny pointed me to this post. 

 

I just need clarification that we now need to add our check out requests in the house rules section of our listings ?  I only have a couple of things, and they are requests not rules as such, but something I like my guests to do before leaving i.e. turn off all heaters and lights, please put rubbish in the bins and please load any dirty dishes in the dishwasher and turn it on before leaving  Beforehand I have just left them in the welcome booklet.

 

I just want clarification that these should be in the house rules section of the listing as they are not rules as such, but requests and if we don't have those in the listing can guests mark us down on that in the reviews.

 

Thanks

Sybe
Online Community Manager
Online Community Manager
London, United Kingdom

Hi @Ruth413 ! Very good question. The ground rules mentioned in this article are a new set of enforceable standards that all guests must follow, but are unrelated to checkout tasks.

 

However you might be interested in this article, in which we shared that in the coming months, we’ll be working with you to make checkout more transparent to guests. Guests will be able to review your checkout instructions prior to booking – similar to house rules – and also leave feedback on the checkout experience.

 

For now there isn't any change in terms of checkout requests and where you inform the guest of those, so you can leave them where you have them now. 🙂


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Ruth413
Level 10
Moreton, United Kingdom

@Sybe Sorry for the late reply.  I have been away with no internet (bliss!).  Thanks for the confirmation re checkout requests/rules, and I hope that Airbnb will update us in advance for when they will be required. 

I am niggling a little bit as to the phrase "check out tasks"  as this sounds rather negative to the guests.  Believe me, I wouldn't want to be doing any tasks while on holiday !  Although, I have just spent a week in Cornwall and hoovered, polished and left the place how I found it.  This is for a rental which is private which does charge a minimal cleaning fee and I mean minimal -  £35 for a house that sleeps 12 people, but they do ask for it be left as it was found, i.e. neat and tidy and not dishes left etc. 

If they asked me to do do "check out tasks"  that would probably change my thought process.  So please if you can, regarding the next update for check out, please advise not to use the wording of tasks, chores, cleaning etc. 

Best to have a choice for us hosts to choose between - Check out instructions or Check out requests.  Especially as these are going to be reviewed by both hosts and guests.   

Sybe
Online Community Manager
Online Community Manager
London, United Kingdom

@Ruth413 A small change in wording can have a huge impact, that's for sure. I'll make sure this is added to the feedback, thanks for thinking with us! 😃


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Gillian166
Level 10
Hay Valley, Australia


 Guests will be able to review your checkout instructions prior to booking – similar to house rules – and also leave feedback on the checkout experience.

 

🙂


@Sybe  this is SO awesome!! can't wait to see it.  👍🏼  i am officially making a woo-yay post. 😅 

Gillian166
Level 10
Hay Valley, Australia

So with "commercial photography allowed" there should have been an option to include whether a fee would apply for that. "commercial photography" could range from one person shooting a singer in the lounge room (had that happen, it's fine) to a wedding (also allow that under a specific listing) but at the other end (a crew with lots of gear) this seems a bit vague. At the very least it should have "contact host for further details"

Sybe
Online Community Manager
Online Community Manager
London, United Kingdom

@Gillian166 That's a very good point, especially coming from a photography expert like yourself. 😉

 

The ground rules are shown to guests in multiple places including your listing page, so you could perhaps add further clarification in your listing description. You can also still write your own additional house rules where you could specify.

 

I'll make sure to pass this feedback on, thanks for sharing!


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