Hi everyone!

 

I would appreciate your advice and comments on my situation.....thanks in advance for taking the time!

 

A couple of weekends ago we had a booking at our property - our property is a guest house which includes 4 suites and communal areas such as kitchen, dining area, pool, outside seating etc etc.

 

The guest booked the complete guest house for 8 people (max person allowance) a few weeks in advance and asked for a late checkout (6pm) to which I agreed despite meaning we were unable to welcome new guests on their day of checkout.

 

Anyway, in the days leading up to the booking the guests sent a few messages asking questions about the property - does it have a kitchen? does it have a seating area? does it have a BBQ? amongst other things.... all of which made me think, she has not read my listing or the welcome message/house rules sent at the time of booking.

 

I also felt additionally concerned as other things she said made a feel like having a party was her intention, so, despite our refund/cancellation policy (we were 36 hours from the start of the booking) I offered her the opportunity to cancel the booking and receive a full refund as I knew if I cancelled the booking I would have been hit with lots of negative marks!

 

It turns out my suspicions we correct! When the guest arrived they were VERY shocked to find out that my wife and I lived on site despite the fact it is mentioned in the listing no less than 5 times. 

 

Fast-forward to the night of the incident - lets skip the numerous house rules breaks up to this point, including entering my personal area and using and breaking my personal belongings. 

 

Short version, they had a party which went on until 5am, we received complaints from the neighbours and had to ask them to keep the noise down multiple times - the problem was I kept worrying that if I upset them, they will leave me a bad review.....

 

The next morning, I was able to review the carnage in the light of day! I was also able to clearly see the RV camping on my drive way with the additional guests they had invited to their party. There was food up the walls, glass bottles in the pool, BBQ grease all over the floor, spilt drinks over cushions furniture...the list goes on!

 

It was at this stage I decided to call Airbnb and explain the problem to ask for advice and assistance in dealing with the matter. I was told a member of a designated team would call me back and I needed to wait for them but keep them informed if anything else happened.

 

Over the course of the day, I expected them to begin cleaning up from the night before...but no, the party started up again when they woke up and additional people arrived.

 

5 calls later to Airbnb telling them what was happening and explaining that I was worried if I intervened I would upset them a risk a negative review - I was assured they were in breach of not only my rules but Airbnb's policy around parties and event and that I had nothing to worry about, they even confirmed they supported my decision to force them to leave.

 

Now comes the forcing them to leave bit....this turned nasty pretty quick, they refused to leave, demanded a refund as the were leaving before the late checkout time and even went as far as to shout racially offensive comments to my 7 month pregnant wife - we had to threaten to call the police to make them actually leave.

 

Evidence of the party and the events that occurred went submitted to Airbnb and the investigation completed - I thought it was over....

 

However the guests have left us a 1 star review - I have contacted Airbnb about this explained the issue again and request they remove the review, guess what, they have said no!

 

The Party and Events policy says all parties are banned, however how can I enforce a policy Airbnb set if they will not support me when I enforce it. The terms even state that hosts who violate this rule and allow guests to throw parties may be subject to account consequences - I am in a no win situation and feel totally alone without any support from Airbnb at this stage.

 

There are clear contractions between what I have been told by your Airbnb, the terms and rules they have set for both hosts and guests and the outcome/effect of these events of my account.  

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

 

21 Replies

Re: Airbnb Party and Events - I fell totally alone!

in
Berlin, Germany
Level 10

@James1813   A general thing to understand about how the customer service operation works:  Airbnb outsources it to a company that sets quotas for its contractors, who must close a fixed number of support tickets per shift. They're monitored for the average length of time they spend resolving each  support issue, and as non-employees they risk losing work and pay if they're found to spend too much time doing actual service. It's as dystopian as it sounds.

 

When an agent feels an issue is to confusing or complex to resolve in the tight time window, they immediately move it onto someone else's desk. Then it goes around like a hot potato nobody wants to touch. This is obviously no help to the customer, but that's the way it is. And the fact that so much of these operators' time is wasted all day by people trying to make complaints or get reviews taken down only makes it worse for people with real problems. What this means for you as the customer:  if you want to get an agent to stay on your case, you have to be completely clear on what the applicable policy is and reduce your request down to something that the agent can resolve in a minute or two.

 

Anything that involves them having to intervene in communication between host and guest is a non-starter. They're very responsive when the action or decision has already been made, and it just needs to be confirmed in the system. 

Re: Airbnb Party and Events - I fell totally alone!

in
Almancil, Portugal
Level 3

Hi Andrew,

 

Thank you for this information, it’s extremely interesting and valuable - I will ensure I keep this in mind when dealing with them.

 

I am left pretty surprised to be honest, there is a definite theme running through the comments which all say the same thing about Airbnb and I’m shocked that they run their business in such an unprofessional  way. 

It is what it is, if we want to host our properties on their site we have to live with it!

 

Thanks again! 

Re: Airbnb Party and Events - I fell totally alone!

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@James1813  Airbnb wasn't always like this. They used to be quite supportive of hosts, and their customer service was not outsourced know-nothings, but were informed about Airbnb policy and tried to come up with reasonable resolutions and actually be helpful. Cases were dealt with in a timely manner and passed on to the correct dept. instead of getting held up by a clueless telephone robot who just wants to dismiss you asap.

 

The company just got too big, and their ideas and arrogance and greed took precedence over being what their rhetoric still falsely promotes.

 

Like Facebook, which started out as a unique idea, by what some referred to as a programming prodigy- just a way for people to connect in positive ways, that took off in ways Zuckerberg could never have imagined, and look at it now. Now he's a "media mogul", a billionaire, just like Brian Chesky, who was a design major, and now a billionnaire CEO. As they say, money corrupts, and people forget their roots, except to talk about them as if that's still who they are, just regular folks. While in fact, they no longer concern themselves with the actual regular folks, they keep themselves at a far remove and probably don't have any real concept of how those who use their services are being treated, nor do they care.

Re: Airbnb Party and Events - I fell totally alone!

in
Almancil, Portugal
Level 3

Hi Sarah, 

 

Thanks again for the reply!

I have some great news, I got an apology from Airbnb a few hours ago explaining they made a mistake and removing the review!

My faith is restored!

 

Thank you again!

Re: Airbnb Party and Events - I fell totally alone!

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@James1813  Congrats! It really isn't worth getting stressed out about these things- you just have to be patient and persistent, and a poor decision will often be eventually reversed.

Re: Airbnb Party and Events - I fell totally alone!

in
Almancil, Portugal
Level 3

UPDATE: The review has been removed!

 

Thank you to everyone for their support and help! Happy Hosting!

Re: Airbnb Party and Events - I fell totally alone!

in
Stuttgart, Germany
Host Advisory Board Member

Congrats and thanks for your follow-up, @James1813 !

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