How we’re protecting you when things go wrong

How we’re protecting you when things go wrong

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Many of you have told us how much you love sharing your space with guests. Beyond the financial rewards, you’re inspired by the personal connections you make with people from all over the world.


Of course, none of that’s possible if you don’t feel protected while you host—you want Airbnb to help prevent things from going wrong and to be available in the rare but unfortunate moments when they do. We hear you, and we wanted to share some of the work we’re doing to enhance the safety of our hosts and broader community.


Ramping up our commitment to community standards

We recently announced our new Guest Standards Policy, which will introduce a system for tracking bad guests. When a guest fails to meet one of the standards outlined in the policy, they'll receive a warning. If the behavior continues, it could lead to suspension or removal from the platform.

These guest standards build upon existing policies we already have in place to address the more serious trust and safety issues that result in immediate removal from the platform. We’re enhancing our system to better monitor guests who engage in less serious misconduct, so that we can educate these guests and take appropriate action to improve our community.


By setting clear standards, staffing teams to take action, and putting technology in place to track noncompliance, we expect to improve overall guest behavior and increase community trust.


Learn more about our enhanced guest standards

Designing tools & features that support you

Even with these standards in place, there will be times when things go wrong. We know it’s painful when they do, and we want you to feel like we have your back. Our team has been working on ways to support you in those moments, and we wanted to share some new features with you.


Urgent Support Line
We recently began piloting our new Urgent Support Line in the U.S. and plan to expand to more countries next year. If you’re in the U.S. with early access through the Airbnb app and you’re experiencing an urgent matter related to your security or safety—like if a guest refuses to leave at checkout—you can tap the “Call Airbnb's Urgent Support Line" button in the Safety Center (available via the Profile tab) to quickly connect to a specialist for help. Keep in mind that the Urgent Support Line button is designed to be available only for active reservations, from the day before check-in to the day after checkout. You can also access the Safety Center via the shield icon at the top of the Host Inbox.


Local emergency line

We know that guests traveling in unfamiliar countries may not know how to contact local emergency services, so we’ve also launched an in-app emergency call button. This button provides a direct line to local law enforcement and emergency services. We’ve already rolled it out in the U.S. and China. We’re adding 29 more countries by the end of the year and even more countries in 2020.


Live chat

For non-urgent issues, we’ve heard from you that you want the convenience of live chat. So we’re excited that we were able to introduce that feature to English and Mandarin speakers this year, with plans to roll it out in seven more languages next year. Right now, it’s the fastest way to get the help you need for things like updating your calendar or adjusting your pricing.


Remember: Many of these features are still being tested, so some people and regions don’t have access to features, and the product experience and placement of features may change as we iterate and improve. We test new features first so that we can figure out what works best before expanding access. If you’re not seeing the Urgent Support Line or local emergency line, for example, you’ll likely get access at a later phase of the rollout.

Strengthening our customer support teams & processes

Of course, these new features are only as effective as the teams that support them, which is why we’ve prioritized growing and restructuring our customer support team. Here are some of the changes:


A larger, more focused customer support staff

Just this year, we added thousands of new support agents around the globe, and we’ve reorganized and refocused the teams. We’ve set it up so that the more experienced an agent, the more complex the issues he or she will handle. So if, for example, you’re dealing with a guest who refuses to leave, you’ll now reach an agent who specializes in dealing with issues like this without having to explain your issue to multiple agents along the way. 


More empathy and efficiency in claims

We’ve heard from you that agents handling claims could be more empathetic, and that you’re frustrated by how long it can take to resolve an issue. We hear you, which is why we’ve been training our claims specialists to better understand why these types of issues can feel so personal and upsetting to hosts. We’ve also implemented a process that speeds up resolution and payout for hosts who are more tenured on the platform.


Greater consistency across the board

Hosts also tell us they want more consistency in how their cases are dealt with. We’re working on improving our workflows to help ensure that the same issues are handled the same way every time.

What you can do

From communicating clearly to using helpful technology, here are some ideas we’ve collected from hosts about what they like to do to help ensure safety and great experiences with their guests.


Set clear expectations

Whether it’s in your House Rules, listing description, or messages, be clear about how you want guests to behave in your space. It’s particularly important to specify your rules around parking, extra guests, and smoking so we know if it should be considered “unauthorized” under the new Guest Standards Policy. By sharing that kind of information up front, you can help confirmed guests understand your expectations and deter potential guests who may not be a great fit.


When a guest fails to uphold these standards, it’s important to begin by addressing the issue with them directly—this is often the quickest path to resolution. In all cases, be ready to provide evidence that demonstrates a rule has been broken, whether that’s photos of excessive trash left in your space, an emailed complaint from a neighbor, or some other documentation.


Get to know your guests

Hosts have told us that they love connecting with the people they’re welcoming into their space. You can use our pre-booking message feature to ask questions and remind them of your House Rules and other guidelines—we’ve increased the character count on the pre-booking message, so you can include even more information than before. Greeting your guests in person can go a long way toward setting the right tone, which may also help you resolve issues more quickly if they arise.


Consider installing a noise monitoring device

If noise from large groups is a concern, a noise monitoring device may help put your mind at ease. Airbnb has recently offered discounts on noise monitoring devices for hosts in certain markets, and will be continuing to explore new technologies to help you protect your space. Keep in mind that these devices don’t actually record sound—they simply monitor the decibel level in your space and alert you via an app when it hits a certain threshold (which you can customize). Just be sure you let guests know if and where you’ve installed monitoring devices of any kind. You can place signs near the devices themselves and should mention them in your listing description, House Rules, or house manual.

The journey ahead

For the Airbnb community to thrive, there has to be trust: in hosts, in guests, and in Airbnb as a company. These changes are an important step toward preserving that trust, but we know there’s still work to be done. It’s a journey, and we appreciate your feedback along the way.

134 Replies 134
Level 2
Denver, CO

Will they actually book if you have a really high sec. deposit?  I also think Airbnb should provide immediate background searches just as soon as someone books.  If they don't do it, they should make the service free for hosts.


Level 2
St. Thomas, CA

I have had children stay at my rental and have suffered damage  and I refuse for animals as well as children. Do not accept them and don't feel guilty about not letting them period!

Level 1
Quincy, IL

Oddly I was told Airbnb’s insurance policy could do NOTHING when I found a guest had robbed me. Just an “I’m sorry that happened to you.” 
As a single, female, live-in host, I was extremely disappointed. 

Level 2
Bedford, NH

I submitted a claim for $1,000 in damage which was supported with pictures and quotes for repairs. Airbnb offered me $150, and finally forced me to accept $275 several weeks and three CS reps later. Then they withdrew our Superhost status on all five of our 5 star rated homes. Now I only give them about 20% of our potential dates.

Level 2
Decatur, GA

I wonder if we should collectively reach out to Wall Street Journal about our experience as hosts with AirBNB.  We too, had a similar experience.  We didn’t have Superhost status but they somehow blocked my calendar so our property wasn’t coming up.  I had to manually go in and unblock all the dates.  When I called to get assistance, they said I did it.   Seriously!  I sat there and blocked my calendars for years out!?!!  Now that I’ve posted this comment, I wonder what punishment AirBNB will impose on us this time.

Level 2
Vancouver, WA

I had that happen to me and I kept blaming my last guest to them getting into my account somehow! They get you back for wanting them to do the right thing!

Level 2
Denver, CO

They blocked my entire guest area (3 bedrooms) this summer and wouldn't admit it.  Today the latest support staff said they had to investigate.  Oh yeah.  Right.

Level 2
St. Thomas, CA

Thats sad and I would feel pretty annoyed with Airbnb. A hotel can charge your card for damages so why can't Airbnb? Without us hosts then Airbnb would have nothing.

Level 2
Niagara Falls, CA

Thanks for the info - who else do you use?  Please!

Level 5
Rome, Italy


Beyond all these beautiful initiatives, it would be useful to intervene on the security deposit, crediting it directly to the host immediately. At the end of the stay, after 15 days and in the absence of damage detected by the host, Airbnb will automatically return it. This is the honest and correct way to work.
Currently the security deposit in airbnb is a kind of joke, if the guest damages something or ruins something or makes something disappear, the security deposit is useless if the guest himself does not confirm that he has committed the damage and agrees to the use of the security deposit by the host. Guests almost never admit that they have stained, damaged or made objects disappear. So the airbnb security deposit, right now, is useless (and guests know it).


I agree! My very first guest stole a little ceramic turtle it covered a scratch on the night stand. I confronted the guest who lied from the beginning he said his parents were going to be staying there and his little brother that he was in the military on leave then come to find out my neighbors told me it was some boys with girls friends and one of the rooms he smoked in cos a candle lid was used for his ciggerettes butts when I asked him he said tell u the truth ma’m I didn’t stay in that room (so his mom and dad stole my turtle? )come on I have guests put 250$ deposit and I told him he needed to tell his guests because the item was taken out of a air bnb it was gonna cost him 50$ the item wasn’t 50$ it was like 10$ but I felt like he should be charged as a lesson learned. Air bnb said do I have a reciept a picture of the item and I had to request money from him I did so and nothing has come up about it I didn’t want a bad review so I didn’t put that in his review from me but now I wish I had. What’s the point of taking up hours on chat to air bnb people contacting them then they never respond and not only that they said I had to resolve this issue before my next guest came which was like in two days from then it’s just a lot of drama and bull**bleep** I’ve been doing this two weeks now and my third guest broke a hourglass with magnetic sand in it saying I’ll pay for it I said don’t worry about it because what I’m gonna charge her five bucks and have to go thru all this again plus I don’t want a bad review

Level 2
Denver, CO

Fear of a bad review keeps lots of hosts from telling how bad someone really is.  They need to fix that.

Level 2
Nunderi, Australia

Agree with this 100%

Level 2
Cape Town, ZA

Thank you. Seems in Cape Town, recently,  a number of hosts have experienced awful disregard from guests. 

Level 10
Peterborough, Canada

@AirbnbI am disturbed by the following quotation from the article:

"We’ve also implemented a process that speeds up resolution and payout for hosts who are more tenured on the platform." (Emphasis mine)


What exactly does this mean? The way it reads is that newer hosts can expect delayed resolution and payouts when things go wrong. Another possibility is that it means that perhaps hosts with single listings can expect poorer service.


Clarification and/or a definition of "more tenured" is desperately needed here, both for hosts and for CX agents who are dealing with resolution/payout issues. I have noticed that many policies, and indeed language contained in the Terms of Service remain undefined, and thus wide open to interpretation by hosts, CX, and guests. I believe you have an obligation to make all policies clear, thus eliminating much of the confusion that naturally arises from conflicting interpretation by different parties.


Or, is this a further incentivization you are building into the platform? Become "more tenured (whatever that may be defined as) and you'll get better service"?


Please explain this passage more fully.

Level 2
Niagara Falls, CA

Hi There Jennifer1421 -

I doubt anyone could read into that term "more tenured" - I have 4 vacation rentals - and I have been sitting on the bench since Sept.  Today is the end of December!

Level 2
Zagreb, HR

@Airbnb Please reply to this. Thanks.

Level 10

I wondered EXACTLY the same thing @Jennifer1421.  A nice fuzzy term  which could mean lots of different things to lots of different people!  



Level 10
New South Wales, Australia

@Sheila276 to avoid that is after the guest check-in, send an email the next day to make sure the guest is settled and if any things u can provide or explain to make her stay better


and if the guests are booked for more than 2 weeks keep. Every week sending a message to guests to make sure everything is going as a plan if they need your assistance to let you know.


After that, if they never reply or make any request in case of a complaint from their part, you will have more chance Airbnb CS to side with you as it will show you took all necessary step.



Level 4
Palm Harbor, FL

It's much easier to deal with tenants from Zillow.

Level 4
Palm Harbor, FL

How can you claim to protect us when you withdraw refunds without consent after guests have stayed for several weeks before they complain.  I can't pay my mortgage because Airbnb withdrew another 800 from my account without any consent, warning or reasons.

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